by Andrew Walden
Information spliced together in chronological order from the Frank James Lyon and Master Halbert indictments (identified by paragraph number) along with information from the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM) Courts and other sources gives a 2010-2016 timeline of the alleged corrupt dealings between Lyon Associates and individuals within the FSM Government.
According to the Lyon indictment, “From in or around 2006 through in or around 2016, Frank James Lyon, together with his co-conspirators, provided bribe payments to FSM officials totaling at least approximately $200,000 in order to obtain approximately $7.8 million in contract payments.”
NOTE: According to the Lyon indictment, “’Co-Conspirator 2,’ an individual whose identity is known to the United States, was a United States citizen who resided in the Federated States of Micronesia (“FSM").” In the Halbert indictment, the designation 'Co-Conspirator 1' apparently refers to the same unknown person. To eliminate confusion we are labeling both as ‘Co-Conspirator X’.
Also unknown from the Lyon indictment is: "’Micronesian Official 2,’ an individual whose identity is known to the United States, was a government official in the FSM Congress who served on a congressional committee with oversight over Engineering Company's FSM contracts.” No other Micronesian officials are mentioned in the Halbert indictment.
‘Co-conspirator 3’ in the Lyon indictment is believed to refer to an as-yet unidentified State of Hawaii DHHL official who allegedly accepted bribes possibly to steer an Anahola dam removal project to Lyon.
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HALBERT 12. On or about May 3, 2010, Halbert sent an email to Lyon and "Co-Conspirator X" regarding an FSM auditor's concerns about the purchase of a vehicle. Halbert wrote, "I know I should protect myself and [not] put this in writing or discuss this in e-mail or any form of communication that can provide as a concrete evident [sic] and come back and used against me but its ok, if you want to take me down no problem." Halbert wrote and threatened that if Lyon and Co-Conspirator X were not willing to back him up in confronting the auditor, then Halbert did "not think [they] should do business together again."
LYON 24. On or about December 28, 2010, Frank James Lyon sent an email to Co-Conspirator X regarding Engineering Company's purchase of travel relating to the FAA AIP Contract and an unrelated side trip to Las Vegas, Nevada, including for Micronesian Official 1 (Master Halbert) and his wife. Frank James Lyon stated that the side trip would be expensive, but also stated, "This. is a huge (and very very very critical to get renewed) contract so I am not trying to save money- or god forbid- insult [Micronesian Official 1 (Master Halbert)]."
LYON 25. On or about December 28, 2010, Co-Conspirator X sent an email in reply to the email in Paragraph 24, in which Co-Conspirator X stated that the Engineering Company employees on the trip could charge their trip to the FAA AIP Contract, concealing the Las Vegas side trip, but collecting per diem during that time.
The Kaselehlie Press, Feb. 15, 2019 reports: “FSM’s National Public Auditor Haser Hainrick said that he had looked back over the audits on his office’s website. The only audit that might have caused an auditor to ask questions regarding a vehicle at around that time was the audit issued on January 27, 2011 on professional and market premiums for FSM national government employees. He said that he had asked two members of his staff who were employees at the time, one of whom directly worked on that audit if they remembered any questions being raised about a vehicle. He said they didn’t recall anything like that but they had been concentrating on the professional and market premiums information. That audit revealed that at least one government employee had likely falsified their education achievements in order to qualify for a professional premium which increases the base salary for a position by 90%. The matter was referred to the Compliance Investigation Division which after investigation referred the matter to the Department of Justice.”
HALBERT 13. On or about June 2, 2011, Halbert sent an email to Co-Conspirator X, stating, "I am sorry to do this but I really your [sic] help again. We came with $3,000 and we have already used half of that in food and shopping. Can you and Jim [Lyon] give me $1,500.00 and this should last us for the rest of the trip."
HALBERT 14. On or about June 2, 2011, Halbert sent an email to Co-Conspirator X, with the subject line "travel fund," stating, "Jim [Lyon] is ok. delete this after raeding." [sic]
HALBERT 15. On or about December 1, 2011, Halbert emailed Co-Conspirator X, "Can you ask Jim for some money? I need $1,000 and if ok, you can give it to me when we get to Hawaii."
LYON 31. In or around 2012, Frank James Lyon and his co-conspirators purchased an automobile for Micronesian Official 1 (Master Halbert)'s personal use in order to obtain and retain business.
HALBERT 18. On or about July 8, 2013, Halbert sent an email to Lyon directing Lyon to go look at a Ford truck in the District of Hawaii to potentially purchase for Halbert.
LYON 32. On or about July 8, 2013, Micronesian Official 1 (Master Halbert)sent an email to Frank James Lyon to go look at a Ford truck to potentially purchase for him, which Frank James Lyon forwarded to Co-Conspirator X, stating, ''[T]his is an example of things [I] have to do[.] [I] have to find a car, negotiate a price, figure out how to pay for it, get it on a ship to [P]ohnpei[, FSM.] [T]his is illegal[.] [I] can only do these things when people don't know what I am doing[.]"
In 2014 Halbert was tried in FSM courts for falsifying his academic record from the University of Washington in order to award himself a $173,614.56 ‘professional premium’ taken from FSM and FAA projects. '‘Crim. Case No. 2014-501; FSM v. Master Halbert” can be found on internet discussion board Micronesia Forum, and The Wayback Machine, but it has been stripped from the FSM Supreme Court website. The case runs to the end of 2015.
Many of the 2014-16 emails quoted in the Lyon and Halbert federal indictments deal with Halbert soliciting bribe money from Lyon to pay the fine imposed in the FSM plea agreement.
LYON 34. On or about January 20, 2014, Frank James Lyon and his co-conspirators caused a wire transfer in the amount of approximately $3,902.99 to be sent from a bank account controlled by Frank James Lyon to the University of Hawaii to pay tuition for a relative of Micronesian Official 1 (Master Halbert).
LYON 35. On or about April 11, 2014, Frank James Lyon and his co-conspirators caused a wire transfer in the amount of approximately $3,599.98 to be sent from a bank account controlled by Frank James Lyon to the University of Hawaii to pay tuition for a relative of Micronesian Official 1 (Master Halbert).
HALBERT 19. On or about May 7, 2014, Halbert sent an email to Co-Conspirator X, with the subject line, "Per dium," [sic] stating, "Please bring my money at home. Can you ask Jim if you can add another $1,000." The circumstances of this communication, coupled with other evidence uncovered in this case, demonstrate that Halbert was asking Lyon to deliver a cash bribe payment from the District of Hawaii to Halbert in FSM.
HALBERT 20. In or around June, 2015, Halbert and Lyon instructed Co-Conspirator X to draft a request for qualification document seeking bids for an FSM project management contract (“PMU Contract”), including drafting selection criteria to favor Engineering Company in order to obtain an improper business advantage and win the PMU contract.
LYON 39. On or about July 2, 2015, shortly before traveling to Micronesia, Frank James Lyon withdrew $6,000 cash from an Engineering Company bank account in Hawaii for the purpose of paying a cash bribe to Micronesian Official 1 (Master Halbert) and/or Co-Conspirator 3 for the benefit of Co-Conspirator 3 and State Agency officials.
LYON 40. On or about July 3, 2015, shortly before traveling to Micronesia, Frank James Lyon withdrew $2,000 cash from an Engineering Company bank account in Hawaii for the purpose of paying a cash bribe to Micronesian Official 1 (Master Halbert) and/or Co-Conspirator 3 for the benefit of Co-Conspirator 3 and State Agency officials.
HALBERT 21. In or around July 2015, the engineering company was awarded the contract by the FSM government.
HALBERT 22. On or around August 27, 2015, Halbert sent an email to Lyon with the subject line, "2014 Chevy Silverado," stating, "Please get this truck. It is my cash so when I need to pay back anyone, I can sell it or this will be my ride forever. If you can, lift it 6 in and put on black rims."
LYON 43. In or around 2015, Frank James Lyon and his co-conspirators purchased an automobile for Micronesian Official 1 (Master Halbert)'s personal use in order to obtain and retain business.
HALBERT 25. On or about September 1, 2015, Halbert sent an email to Co-Conspirator X, asking Co-Conspirator X to talk to Lyon about loaning Halbert $2,500 to open an account.
HALBERT 30. Leading up to the DPA (Deferred Prosecution Agreement with the FSM for falsifying his educational credentials), on or about October 10, 2015, Halbert sent an email to Lyon asking Lyon to "still help me with $40k."
HALBERT 26. On or about November 15, 2015, Halbert sent an email requesting that the engineering company book and pay for a hotel room for Halbert and members of his family for a trip to Guam. The engineering company executive responded that "at this time" the engineering company was approving "only project reimbursable travel requests."
HALBERT 27. On or about November 16, 2015, Halbert emailed three of the engineering company's employees, "This is to inform you that I am closing your office starting tomorrow until further notice."
HALBERT 28. On or about November 17, 2015, Halbert sent an email to the engineering company executive, stating, in part, "You don't understand and appreciate how Lyon got this job ... You're very disrespectful and insulting. For this, Lyon will never get another job in the FSM. I can make that happen."
November 27, 2015: The last of a series of procedural maneuvers fail to derail the prosecution of Master Halbert before the FSM Supreme Court.
HALBERT 29. In or around December 2015, Halbert entered into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement with the FSM for falsifying his educational credentials, which allowed him to receive a higher salary from the FSM government. The DPA required Halbert to pay restitution to the FSM government.
LYON 41. On or about December 9, 2015, Frank James Lyon sent an email to Co-Conspirator X stating that "[Micronesian Official 1 (Master Halbert)] is asking for $5K/month .... So you and I will have to work together on spending & get agreement with [another Engineering Company executive] on guidelines on what goes into [marketing]."
An extensive 2016 discussion on Micronesia Forum titled, “Massy Halbert resigns from National Government...and then he goes on a trip funded by the government representing TC&I”, reveals the case was dropped as part of a plea agreement.
HALBERT 31. On or about December 22, 2015, Halbert sent an email to Co-Conspirator X with the subject line, "Restitution," stating, "Please ask Jim if he can give me the whole and I will put it down in full to lower the monthly."
HALBERT 32. On or about December 22, 2015, Co-Conspirator X sent a response email informing Halbert the company officials stated: "They don't have money now. They are short of money all the time."
HALBERT 33. On or about December 22, 2015, Halbert sent a response email to Co-Conspirator X, stating, "I'm shocked ... really thought they committed to help."
HALBERT 34. On or about December 22, 2015, Co-Conspirator X sent an email to Halbert, stating, "They will help you by monthly."
HALBERT 35. On or about March 21, 2016, Halbert sent an email to Lyon, "You don't think people in the government questions why I have a long term contract with Lyon? You don't understand how hard I work from my side to protect you and your contract."
HALBERT 36. On or about March 31 , 2016, Halbert sent an email to Lyon, stating, " I'm helping you already and you paying me in some ways when I ask. I'm effective this way right?"
LYON 44. On or about April 15, 2016, Frank James Lyon stated in an email that he intended to pay for an apartment for Micronesian Official 2 and that Micronesian Official 2 "handles the infrastructure committee - which I need to approve our $500K contract week [of] [M]ay 11."
HALBERT 37. On or about April 19, 2016, Halbert sent an email to Lyon, stating, “So I will start getting paid by the Government under my contract in two weeks and I might get hired on permanently in 1 month. I want to return the whole amount of my checks and every one of them until l my restitution is fully paid off. Can you put me on your payroll so I have some money every month? Let me know your thought."
Records from the FSM Congress show $506K to fund ‘the newly restructured’ PMU (Program Management Unit) was approved May 11, 2016. The PMU is staffed mostly by Lyon Associates employees.
Halbert’s name pops up on the list of witnesses who could be called to testify in a civil suit filed September 28, 2016, by former Lyon Associates President Ronald Gonzales.
December 31, 2016: Ron Simpson, FAA official in charge of Honolulu Airports District Office, retires. Simpson oversaw several airport projects in Micronesia, American Samoa, and Hawaii.
April 27, 2017 -- US DoI suspends Compact Infrastructure Program with FSM.
June 30, 2017 – US DoI lifts suspension of Compact Infrastructure Program after meeting with President Christian in Honolulu. Statement announcing end of suspension includes this: "The FSM will terminate the current private contractor managing its Project Management Unit as soon as practicable."
July 14, 2017: “New RFP for Engineers and Staff at FSM PMU”
Other Micronesia Corruption: