WASHINGTON – A former official with the American Samoan Department of Education was sentenced to 25 months in prison today for his role in a bribery scheme, Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division announced.
Gustav Nauer, 47, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge David Alan Ezra in the District of Hawaii. Nauer was also ordered to pay $100,000 in restitution to the American Samoa Department of Education (ASDOE) and to serve three years of supervised release following his prison term.
According to court documents, Nauer worked as the head of the School Bus Division for the ASDOE until December 2010. In that position, Nauer was responsible for identifying repairs and parts required by school buses operated by ASDOE.
Nauer admitted that he conspired with another ASDOE official, Paul Solofa, to purchase “phantom” school bus parts that would never be delivered and actual school bus parts at inflated prices, all from a specific company. In exchange for this lucrative business, the bus parts company agreed to pay back most or all of the fraudulently obtained money to Nauer and Solofa in cash bribes to influence and reward Nauer and Solofa. Specifically, Nauer admitted that, from January 2003 until October 2006, he and Solofa received envelopes of cash totaling approximately $300,000.
In January 2012, Solofa was convicted by a jury in Washington, D.C., of witness tampering and obstruction of justice. Solofa is scheduled to be sentenced on June 8, 2012.
This case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Timothy J. Kelly of the Public Integrity Section in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. The investigation is being conducted by the FBI, the Department of Interior Inspector General and the Department of Education Inspector General.