Melvin Ada’s sentencing reset anew


The scheduled sentencing of former Commonwealth Health Center employee Melvin Garong Ada on Tuesday did not push through for several reasons.

U.S. District Court for the NMI Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona continued the sentencing for Dec. 2, 2015, at 1:30pm and set the restitution hearing for Feb. 12, 2016 at 9am.

Attorney Colin Thompson, court-appointed counsel for Ada, informed the court that the defense would need more time.

Assistant U.S. attorney Garth Backe said the U.S. government was prepared to go forward with the hearing but didn’t opposed the postponement in light of Thompson’s representation that he did not met with his client.

Backe, however, did not object to Ada’s request for a continuance of the sentencing.

Thompson said that, as of Friday afternoon, he received the U.S. government’s sentencing brief and sentencing exhibits, but that he has not had the time to discuss them with Ada.

Thompson also stated that he has not had time to discuss the changes in the final presentence report by the U.S. Probation Office.

Thompson said he tried to meet with Ada over the past few days to discuss the new materials received, but the defendant was ill and not able to meet with him.

U.S. Probation Officer Margarita Wonenberg stated she would be filing a supplemental addendum and amended sentencing recommendation to conform to the revised offense level computation.

Backe said the issues pertaining to restitution are too complex.

Manglona granted Thompson’s motion to continue the sentencing.

In October 2013, Ada pleaded guilty to 56 charges for misusing over 1.7 million intended as payment for a medical supplier company. The original sentencing date was March 7, 2014.

Last June 26, a federal jury acquitted Melvin Ada’s wife, Leyda Ada, of the charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering and money laundering. The jury, however, found her guilty of perjury. She has yet to be sentenced.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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