Special Prosecutor filed a criminal case against a family, Mrs. Barbara Tulop, her daughter Shirley Tulop and son Gerald Tulop last Thursday, May 21st for offenses of Misconduct in Public Office, violation of Code of Ethics and violations of Unified Tax Act.  The family was arrested late afternoon on Thursday and incarcerated overnight before being released on Friday morning.

According to the charging documents, Mrs. Barbara Tulop, an appointed member of the Foreign Investment Board did not report income of $10,000 received from a sublease of her property in Meketii, a Misconduct in Public Office offense.  Furthermore, the documents said she failed to also disclosed her assets in the banks of over $120,000.00.  She is also charged with violation of Code of Ethics for failing to report the same.

Mrs. Tulop and her children are also charged with violation of Unified Tax Act for not reporting income on the sublease agreement they made on their property and for not having a license to engage in a subleasing or renting business while conducting such business by renting their property to Stefano Tansella dba L’Amarena.

Attorney for Mrs. Tulop and her children in response to the press release from the Office of the Special Prosecutor said that the press release and treatment of his clients, jeopardize his clients.

He said that the case stemmed from a civil case between Mrs. Tulop and Mr. Stefano Tansella that was just recently resolved.  He said that Mrs. Tulop was going to lease her home to Mr. Stefano but the realtor and his attorney had drafted the lease to include the land her house was on.  She, due to medical issues with one of children, signed the lease without realizing that the land has been included.  After Mr. Tansella started to transfer the lease at Koror State to himself, she found out and had been going to court to straighten out the confusion. The civil suit was filed but according to the attorney, was just resolved.  He said that as soon as it did, the police showed up to arrest Mrs. Tulop late afternoon Thursday after the court had closed.  The attorney said that penal summons could have been used, instead his clients were arrested after the court had closed and have to spend a night in jail before they were bailed out.  “The press release and the treatment afforded Ms. Tulop and her children in this non-violent case (actually stemming from a civil dispute) gravely prejudices them,” stated attorney for Ms. Tulop and her family.

Violations of the Unified Tax Act and Code of Ethics are misdemeanors with punishment of up to one year in jail or by a fine of not more than $1,000.  The Misconduct in Public Office is a class B felony which if convicted, an offender may be imprisoned for up to 10 years or fine not more than $25,000.