WASHINGTON - The director of the school bus division of the U.S. Territory of American Samoa’s Department of Education pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit federal program bribery, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division.
Gustav Nauer, 46, a resident of American Samoa, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit federal program bribery before U.S. Magistrate Judge Barry M. Kurren of the U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii.
As part of his guilty plea, Nauer admitted to participating in a scheme that began in late 2002 involving other American Samoa Department of Education employees as well as the owner and operator of a company that sold school bus parts to the American Samoa government. As part of the scheme, Nauer and other government officials arranged to order "phantom" bus parts that were never received by the government, as well as bus parts at inflated prices, from the company. In exchange, Nauer admitted that he and other government officials were paid approximately $300,000 in bribes from January 2003 until October 2006.
Nauer faces a maximum of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the conspiracy charge. A sentencing date has not been scheduled.
This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Timothy J. Kelly and Kathryn H. Albrecht of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section. The case was investigated by the FBI, the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the Office of Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Education.