April 2, 2019
Micronesian Government Official Pleads Guilty to Money Laundering
On April 2, 2019, in U.S. District Court, Hawaii, Master Halbert of the Federated States of Micronesia pleaded guilty to money laundering. The plea was made subsequent to a plea agreement; sentencing is set for July 29, 2019.
As an official for the Micronesia DOT, Halbert administered the aviation programs and managed the airports. The investigation found that, between 2006 and 2016, a Hawaii-based engineering and consulting company paid bribes to Micronesian officials, including Halbert, to obtain and retain government contracts valued at nearly $8 million. This conduct violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.
DOT-OIG is conducting this investigation with the FBI.