Palau Supreme Court Trial Division found former Ngiwal governor Ellender Ngirameketii guilty on all counts brought against him by the Office of Special Prosecutor.
Mr. Ngirameketii was found guilty of 6 counts of Misconduct in Public Office, 6 counts of Code of Ethics violations, 6 counts of Social Security Administration reporting violations and 5 counts of Unified Tax Act violations.
In three-day trial, the court said it was proven beyond reasonable doubt that defendant Ngirameketii acted illegally under the color of office for underreporting income he earned between 2014 and 2018 as a sole owner of business, Okal Security Agency.
Ngirameketii reported earning less than $14,000 between 2014 to 2018 but record shows his company earned $1.3 million from the Okal Security Agency contracts during the same period.
Trial also showed that he failed to pay taxes on the real estate transaction in 2018. In addition, failed to report and pay Social Security contributions for the employees of Okal Security Agency during the same period and failed to obtain a valid business license for years 2016 to 2019.
Judgment was issued on July 23rd with sentencing set for September 2, 2021.
Ngirameketii is the first of three officials charged to be found guilty. Two remaining current and former public officials, Ngaraard Governor Benjamin Iskawa and former Angaur speaker Leon Gulibert, have cases before the court this month.