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Former CFO disputes he approved LBJ payments to family biz

Hospital needed Samoa Commercial Printing, not the other way around, said Amosa

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Former LBJ hospital Chief Financial Officer, Emau Amosa has broken his silence. He is disputing claims by the LBJ hospital board that he approved check payments to his wife’s business, Samoa Commercial Printing from 2011 up to 2023 amounting to $1.49 million.

“I did not bypass any procurement laws and if the board understood the hospital’s procurement process for each division of the hospital they would know that what they gave the media is wrong,” explained Amosa.

“I was not working at the hospital from 2011, 2012 until 2013. So there is no way I was aware of the claims by the board investigation. Furthermore, I don’t approve those types of payments.

“When a division of the hospital places an order, there is a process which is not approved by the CFO. I dealt with Medicaid and Medicare funding which was vital to the operation of the hospital,” he explained.

Investigation documents obtained by the Samoa News allege that between 2011 to 2023 the LBJ Medical Center paid a total of $1.49 million to Samoa Commercial Printing. 

Amosa said that his wife runs the Samoa Commercial Printing and in fact their quotes were the cheapest compared to the other companies that were printing material for hospital.

“Each division places their own orders, which was approved by Procurement, not me,” he said.

Amosa who is also a church minister of the Congregational Christian Church of Samoa (CCJS), also confirmed that his services have been terminated at the hospital.

He said there is too much “fake news” going around and he wants to set the record straight.

“I am still getting paid by the hospital. I was placed on administrative leave and I was instructed not to say anything to the media, that is why I refused to respond to queries before because I am waiting for a hearing by the LBJ board.

“To date, they have not called me in,” said Amosa.

Chairman of the hospital Board, Dr Malouamaua Tuiolosega told Samoa News that the hospital’s investigation has been referred to the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Public Safety for their review.

“This is now a criminal investigation,” confirmed Dr Tuiolosega.

He said their preliminary investigation uncovered evidence that procurement processes were bypassed by the hospital’s former Chief Financial Officer, who approved payments benefitting his family business, Samoa Commercial Printing. 

Amosa is the President of Tasi Incorporated the mother company of Samoa Commercial printing. 

Public records from the Office of the Territorial Registrar, confirm Amosa as President of Tasi Incorporated, established in August 1998.

According to hospital records in 2020 $170,000 was paid out to Samoa Commercial Printing; in 2021 $317,247 in 2022 $175,601 and in 2023 payments amounted to $10,430.

Amosa told Samoa News, his wife is a business woman and she’s the one who dealt with their business, not him.

“If anything she did the hospital a favor by printing materials required by the hospital for their daily work at a very low price.

“At the moment the hospital cannot print their own materials.

“It has to be said, the hospital needs Samoa Commercial Printing, not the other way around,” Amosa said.

Regarding the criminal investigation, Amosa said “bring it on, I have nothing to hide. I did not approve those payments as they never came to me. That is not part of my job to approve payments for the small purchases.”

He gave an example:

“Let’s say the hospital operates on a $5 million budget, $300,000 is just one percent of that budget.

“I don’t approve those payments — procurement does.

“The board needs to get their facts before they run to the media making false allegations,” he said.