Defendants in pyramid scam found guilty of all charges

BY Lagi Keresoma

APIA, SAMOA: THURSDAY 24 DECEMBER 2015: The 2 remaining defendants in the pyramid money making scam Rosita Stanfield and Nico Gianno have been found guilty of all charges against them.

In passing judgment today, Chief Justice Patū Tiava’asu’e Falefatu Sapolu said he was satisfied beyond reasonable doubt, that prosecution has proven the charges against the defendants.

Chief Justice Patū only read out the conclusion of his decision and the full decision will be made available to counsel on the 4th January 2016.

“I am satisfied that the 6 joint charges against the defendant Rosita Stanfield and Nico Gianno have been proven beyond reasonable doubt,” said CJ Patū.

The other 2 charges of falsifying accounts against Gianno have also been proven.

The interim name suppression order against the publication of the defendants’ names has also been lifted.

Stanfield, Gianno and Fa’atoafe Mafi Silao were all charged after the Central Bank of Samoa (CBS) lodged a complaint against their business of obtaining money from investors in a deceptive manner.

The Chief Justice withdrew all charges against Fa’atoafe halfway through the trial, claiming that Fa’atoafe was a victim himself.

The remaining defendants Rosita Stanfield resides in London and Nico Gianno in Italy, are both representatives of the UFun Group.

They arrived in Samoa in May 2015 and made presentations of the Groups business to various people including the Government, and as a result, several people invested in the UFun Group’s UToken packages.

The UFun Groups dealings were labeled by CBS as “too good to be true”.

Stanfield and Gianno are remanded at liberty and will be sentenced on the 2nd February 2016.