Master Halbert Sentenced to 18 Months in Prison

A slap on the wrist? or is Master just lucky ?

The son-in-law of the former president of FSM has been sentenced for his role in a bribery scheme.

Master Halbert pleaded guilty in March to money laundering. He was sentence to serve 18 months in prison.

He admitted he took bribes from Oahu engineer Jim Lyons, in exchange for a nearly $8 million government contract.

During the time of the crime, Halbert worked as an assistant secretary for civil aviation for Micronesia’s Department of Transportation.

Lyons is currently serving a two-and-a-half-year prison sentence.


  • Master Halbert, a Micronesia government official, was sentenced to 18 months in prison and three years of supervised release for participating in a bribery scheme involving the owner of a Hawaii company looking to secure government contracts, the U.S. Justice Department said Tuesday.

    Master Halbert, 44, was sentenced Monday in federal court in Honolulu. Mr. Halbert, who oversaw the administration of airports for the Federated States of Micronesia, pleaded guilty in April to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

    Mr. Halbert admitted to accepting bribes from Frank James Lyon, the owner of a Hawaii engineering and consulting firm that was attempting to secure $8 million in contracts with Micronesia, according to U.S. federal prosecutors. The two men agreed to transport bribe payments to the Federated States of Micronesia from the U.S., prosecutors said.

    Lawyers for both men didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.

    Mr. Lyon, 53, pleaded guilty in January to charges of conspiracy to violate the antibribery provisions of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, and conspiracy to commit federal program fraud. He was sentenced in May to serve 30 months in prison.
  • Must have cooperated. That's is the only explanation i can come up with.
  • If he cooperated, more indictments are probably coming.
  • where all these took placed?
  • When someone plead guilty it means they are cooperating. They are not fighting the case but accept their wrongdoing in return for leniency as in this case 18 months. He is cooperating or as they say he dropped a dime on the other defendants. Singing like a canary or turning rat.

  • visafree, read the forum thread "Bribery In FSM Government By Lyon Assoc. Inc."

    Double Trouble: Lyon Also Offered Cash to Son of FSM President
    By Andrew Walden, Hawaii Free Press, February 24, 2019

    Federated States of Micronesia President Peter Christian’s son-in-law Master Halbert is facing trial in Honolulu for accepting bribes from Lyon Associates, a Hawaii-based engineering contractor which was given control of FSM Program Management Unit (PMU) when Christian became President.

    Now an email from Lyon Associates co-owner, James Lyon, indicates that Christian’s son, Christopher Ivan Christian, was also offered a “retainer” --$5K per month by Lyon with a plan to increase to $10K. It is not clear whether Christopher Ivan Christian accepted the offer, but many of the PMU-related proposals outlined in Lyon's email did get enacted.

    The email, sent March 29, 2015 by Lyon to Christopher Ivan Christian, was provided to Hawai’i Free Press by a US federal source. It has not previously been made public. Christopher Ivan Christian did not reply to a request for comment. His LinkedIn page indicates he was an "administrator" for GMP Hawaii, Inc from 2005-2014. GMP Hawaii owner Wagdy Guirguis was convicted of tax evasion in November, 2018.

    The email outlines Lyon Associates' plan to take control of PMU when President Christian takes office six weeks after the date of the email.

    The email also points to Lyon’s previous eight years of FSM airport contracting work as “a similar contract structure that has worked so well.…” Lyon points out “Massy has a track record of spending $300M in airport projects over past 8 years.”

    “Massy” refers to Master Halbert, son-in-law of then-incoming FSM President Peter Christian. Lyon says Halbert is “the absolute key to this concept moving forward.”

    In Lyon’s email, “Mori” refers to former FSM President Manny Mori who termed out of office May 11, 2015 and was replaced by current FSM President Peter Christian.

    Christian’s first term ends this year and he faces reelection before the FSM Congress. We have also included a 2008 news release from the Mori administration which outlines Mori’s plans for PMU and mentions many of the individuals named in the Lyon email.
    “Mao” refers to Lyon employee Mao Peng, who became head of Lyon staff at PMU.
    “Westerfield” refers to the previous PMU Chief Contracting Officer under Mori, Robert A Westerfield III.

    “Lukner” refers to Lukner B. Weilbacher, FSM Secretary of Transportation, Communications and Infrastructure (TC&I), who, according to the FSM Government website, continues to oversee the Program Management Unit (PMU). Weilbacher has not responded to multiple requests for comment.

    Posted by FactsMatter 5 months ago in General
  • Thanks for sharing FactMatter, corruption in our young governments always the core of our problem.
  • Corruption in FSM far accede the other 2 cofa nations. Its not new news to me. What i notice is that in the other 2 states they call it out and talk truth to power but here in FSM its considered a taboo subject to call out our leaders who partake in these kind of illegal acts.
  • So Mr. Lyon only got 30 months in jail & Mr. Halbert 18 months in jail plus 3 years of supervised release after what, $8 million dollars in contracts & $200,000 in bribery

    I wonder how much monetary contribution Mr. Lyon gave to Peter Christian before he ran & became President

    Here's a glimpse of Jim Lyon's contribution to the Hawaii local & Federal campaigns or politicians over the past years.

    $8,550 to Hawaii Congresswoman Mazie Hirono
    $21,500 to former Hawaii Congressman & former Governor Neil Abercrombie
    $18,000 to Honolulu Mayor Kirk Caldwell
    $37,500 to former Honolulu Councilman & former Mayor Mufi Hannemann
    $4,000 to Hawaii Legislator Robert Bunda
    $1,300 to Hawaii former Legislator & now Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard
    $6,500 to Hawaii Congressman Brian Schatz
    $2,000 to late Hawaii Congressman Daniel Inouye
    $4,600 to Obama for America & Obama Victory Fund

  • Most likely $100,000 plus to Micronesian Official #3.
  • There are likely more revelations coming, it seems.
  • Do we know the #3 official?
  • They were just through this area, questioning people. There will most likely be new indictments announced soon.
  • Department of Justice
    Office of Public Affairs
    Tuesday, July 30, 2019
    Micronesian Government Official Sentenced to Prison for Role in Money Laundering Scheme Involving FCPA Violations

    A Micronesian government official was sentenced to 18 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release yesterday for his participation in a money laundering scheme involving bribes made to corruptly secure engineering and project management contracts from the government of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), announced Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division and Special Agent in Charge Eli S. Miranda of the FBI’s Honolulu Field Office.

    Master Halbert, 44, a Micronesian citizen, was sentenced in Honolulu by U.S. District Judge Susan O. Mollway of the District of Hawaii. Halbert pleaded guilty on April 2 to a one-count information filed in the District of Hawaii charging him with conspiracy to commit money laundering.

    According to admissions made as part of his plea agreement, Halbert was a government official in the FSM Department of Transportation, Communications and Infrastructure who administered FSM’s aviation programs, including the management of its airports. Halbert admitted that between 2006 and 2016, a Hawaii-based engineering and consulting company owned by Frank James Lyon paid bribes to FSM officials, including Halbert, to obtain and retain contracts with the FSM government valued at nearly $8 million, in violation of the FCPA. Lyon and Halbert agreed that these bribe payments would be transported from the United States to the FSM.

    Lyon, 53, of Honolulu, Hawaii, pleaded guilty on Jan. 22 to a one-count information filed in the District of Hawaii charging him with conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the FCPA and to commit federal program fraud. Lyon was sentenced to serve 30 months in prison on May 13.

    The FBI investigated this case. Trial Attorney Katherine Raut of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section is prosecuting the case. The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Office of Inspector General provided significant assistance.

    The Fraud Section is responsible for investigating and prosecuting all FCPA matters. Additional information about the Department’s FCPA enforcement efforts can be found at
    Foreign Corruption
    Criminal Division
    Criminal - Criminal Fraud Section
    Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
    Press Release Number:
  • Read what is in Bold and Italics. Notice plural form of "official". This is from the US Department of Justice website. We will most likely see more indictments coming soon.
  • imageIs this true?????
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