March 04, 2009

The Kaselehlie Press

Palikir, Pohnpei - Weno, Chuuk - Mihpel Olter Susaia has sworn in an affi davit signed on February 4 and fi led as exhibits in two separate legal actions saying that her first cousin Barney Olter first offered to sell his Transco shares to her for the same amount of money that FSM President Mori paid.

Motions on the matter of the Transco shares and their disposition are currently being adjudicated both in Chuuk and in Pohnpei. The Chuuk matter was a legal action filed by President Mori against Transco defendants and contends that CEO Myron Hasiguchi and other Transco officials conspired to block the transfer of shares into Mori's name so that Hasiguchi could buy the shares for himself.

Barney Olter fi led a civil action against President Mori at the FSM Supreme Court in Palikir alleging amongst several other charges, that he was defrauded by the President in the deal that resulted in a bill of sale for over 2000 shares of the stock. Olter said that Mori knew, because of his position and because of insider information as a share holder in Transco how many shares Olter owned when he made the deal to sell "all of his shares" for $3000. The civil action said that Mori's superior knowledge led him to sell the shares for 1/3 of their par value.

The affidavit sworn to by Mihpel Olter was filed as support for the President's claims in both actions. She said that before she and her husband Akilino Susaia left Pohnpei in May of 2008 so that he could assume his position as FSM Consul in Hawaii, her natural first cousin Barney Olter approached her offering to sell his inherited shares in both Transco and Ponape Transfer and Storage Company (PT&S). She bought the PT&S shares but told Barney to sell his shares to Manny Mori.

Mihpel Susaia is the promised sister of President Mori's sister Dorothy Mori Phillip. "Dorothy and Manny are families to me and me to them," she said in the affi davit. Her deposition said that it was through her that Barney learned that Mori's family in Chuuk owns shares and at one time operated and managed the Transco company.

She said that Barney specifically offered to sell her the Transco shares for $3000 and showed her a dividend check stub for "$1000 plus" which was the most recent dividend payment received from the shares. The check stub indicated that there were three stock certifi cates in Transco. She said that Barney told her that his late father, Salter Olter who is also Mihpel's uncle told him that he owned over 2000 shares of the stock.

She said that she facilitated the offer of the sale of the stocks Barney had inherited and that President Mori, until that time had no idea that Barney had shares in Transco. She said that he was surprised and grateful that her family wanted to sell the family shares to him. "He (Mori) also understood that he was being offered 2000 plus shares for $3000. My cousin and I also understood we were offering to sell Manny some 2000 plus shares for the $3000, just like my cousin fi rst offered them to me," the signed and sworn affidavit says.

"I was happy that the sale worked out very well and that I was able to help both my cousin and my brother Manny. When I heard Transco and Myron Hasiguchi tried to cheat Manny out of those shares, I called my cousin and asked him to keep his word with Manny, because there is more than money involved in the whole thing. We cherished and want our family relationship preserved," she said as her final words in the affidavit.

The precipitating event in all of the legal actions was the bill of sale signed by Barney Olter that assigned the shares to President Mori. The bill of sale does not mention the number of shares that were sold to Mori and that seems to be the crux of the matter.

Mori's response to the case fi led by Barney Olter said that he did not contact Transco to determine the number of shares that Olter owned because he already knew. It says that he likewise did not look into the probate matter at Pohnpei State Supreme Court.

His response said that Olter as the seller had a responsibility to know the value of his shares. It also says that he did not abuse his office by inviting Olter to his offi ce to complete the transaction. The location was simply a matter of time and convenience. Tino Donre of Micronesian Legal Services is representing Barney Olter who has been named as a third party defendant in the action filed by President Mori in Chuuk. Donre has filed a motion to stay prosecution in the Chuuk case arguing that a disposition in the Pohnpei case filed by Olter in Pohnpei will also dispose the Chuuk case.

Sabino Asor, former Chief of Staff for President Mori is representing President Mori in the claim and counterclaim in Chuuk and also in the case filed against Mori in Pohnpei. He argues that the case in Chuuk need not be stayed because it already involves the issue of the validity of the original Bill of Sale between Mori and Olter and that Olter did not need to file the subsequent case in Pohnpei simply to challenge the validity of the same Bill of Sale already at issue in the initial case in Chuuk.

Asor, in an email to The Kaselehlie Press said, "Since Transco and Hasiguchy themselves in the counterclaim in the Chuuk case claimed [that] they added Barney Olter to the Chuuk case to 'prevent a multiplicity of suit', they should be true to themselves and oppose the filing of the subsequent case by Barney in Pohnpei instead of supporting Barney's Motion to Stay the Chuuk case [in order to] proceed with a subsequent case."

The Kaselehlie Press has not seen the affidavit filed and sworn to by Manuela Peter. Asor said that part of Mori's response in the Chuuk case was based on that affidavit.

Peter, according to Asor said that during the course of a possible settlement negotiation with Hasiguchy and Transco, Hasiguchy "boasted to the lady that she should settle with them (Myron and Transco) so they don't do to her what they are doing in their cases against Mr. Mori, which is to start several cases out of the same incident and involve a number of lawyers against Mr. Mori to delay the relief Mr. Mori sought in his initial case."

Asor, on behalf of President Mori has alleged collusion amongst the lawyers involved and has requested court admonishment of the lawyers if in fact the lawyers were encouraging their clients to use their company's unlimited financial resources to "engage in bad faith, dilatory tactics against Mr. Mori as reportedly boasted by their clients in Chuuk."

Attorney Michael J. Sipos is the attorney of record in Barney Olter's action against the President in Pohnpei. Attorney Steven V. Finnen represents Transco, et al., in Chuuk. According to the President's attorney, Sabino Asor, all are waiting for a court scheduling of a possible hearing in the Chuuk Trial Division on all of the filings received to date.