‘More than enough evidence to convict Leyda Ada of perjury’


The U.S. government asserts that there was more than enough evidence for the jury to conclude beyond a reasonable doubt that Leyda I. Ada is guilty of perjury.

Assistant U.S. attorney Garth R. Backe said there was ample evidence produced at trial for the jury to conclude that Ada’s checking of the “no” box was yet another step in her and her husband’s elaborate plan to make it appear they were just a family of modest means, and therefore incapable of having profited from or knowing about the $2 million stolen from the Commonwealth Health Center.

Backe said the preponderance of evidence presented is reason enough to deny Ada’s motion to set aside her conviction.

Last June 26, a federal jury reached a verdict, acquitting Ada of the charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering and money laundering, but finding her guilty as to the crime of perjury.

Perjury has a maximum prison term of five years. Ada’s sentencing will be on Nov. 13, 2015.

The 12 jurors found Ada guilty of perjury when she signed “no” to the question in a form if she has any cash on hand or money in savings or checking accounts.

In order to determine whether Ada could afford her own lawyer when she was arrested, she was required by the court to truthfully complete a financial affidavit.

In the paragraph titled “Employment,” Ada also checked the “no” box indicating she was not employed.

According to the indictment, Ada’s statements were false because she knew that she had $4,000 in cash at the time in her personal clothing drawer at her house and had access to and was an authorized user of at least two bank accounts.

Ada, through counsel Mark Hanson, filed the motion to set aside her conviction for perjury, arguing that there is no evidence that his client was aware of the contents of a form for financial affidavit completed by a U.S. Probation officer. Hanson said there is no evidence that Ada had “cash on hand” as that term is used in the form.

In the U.S. government’s opposition, Backe said U.S. Probation Officer Margarita Wonenberg testified that she read the question to Ada, and then she would expand and ask the defendant if she had any money anywhere.

Backe said the evidence introduced at trial demonstrating Ada knew she had “cash on hand” and “money in savings or checking accounts” includes her journal entry outlining her plan to have $56,500 raised from the sale of the family’s assets; 12 checks totaling $1,400 that she herself wrote.

Backe said Ada also made 13 ATM cash withdrawals totaling $2,500 from a checking account and made 50 CheckCard purchases totaling $13,000.

Ada used to be a sales representative for Midwest Medical Supply Co. Inc., a Missouri-based company that had supplied dialysis consumables and equipment to CHC.

Ada’s husband, Melvin Ada, is a former employee of CHC. He pleaded guilty to 56 charges for misappropriating and diverting CNMI Treasury checks made payable to a medical supplier company totaling over $1.7 million. He 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 ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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