The U.S. District Court for the NMI has ordered Rota Mayor Eifram Atalig to file a declaration about his current financial status to show cause as to why he should not be required to reimburse the Criminal Justice Act Fund for legal services.
In a show-cause order issued by U.S. District Court for the NMI Magistrate Judge Heather Kennedy, Atalig was ordered to show cause why he should not be required to reimburse the Criminal Justice Act fund for all or part of his legal fees no later than May 17.
Kennedy stated in her order that Atalig must file a declaration about his current financial status, which should include copies of his 2020 and 2021 tax returns. The documents will be sealed to ensure that Atalig’s personal financial information is not publicly released.
In addition, Kennedy also ordered David Banes, Atalig’s lawyer, to submit by May 17 his final voucher with the accounting of his time and expenses for representing the mayor. According to the court documents, Banes began submitting in early December 2020 his CJA vouchers requesting payments for legal fees and expenses for representing Atalig.
Likewise, Kennedy ordered the U.S. government to file a response no later than May 31 with any information it possesses about Atalig’s financial condition, about any changes in Atalig’s financial status since the inception of his case, or any other reason why Atalig should be required to reimburse the CJA fund for the representation of his defense.
Kennedy scheduled a hearing on the matter for June 2 at 9am.
According to Saipan Tribune archives, the corruption case of Atalig and common-law wife, Evelyn Atalig, that dragged on for two years came to an end on Aug. 26, 2020 with federal court jurors unanimously deeming the Ataligs innocent on all counts.
The jury acquitted the Ataligs on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and two counts of false statement.
The Ataligs were indicted for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and false statement back in 2018 with the trial ending in August 2020.