Court grants bail to alleged scamming duo
The two men alleged to have scammed funds from the Governmentâs âPoor Reliefâ programme have been granted bail in the sum of $30,000 after having spent two weeks in prison.
Learie Johnson and Derville Thomas had been in custody for two weeks, after multiple charges of fraud, theft and conspiracy were placed against them on February 12.
When the two appeared before the Serious Offences Court on Monday, February 26, to revisit bail, they had racked up 39 charges between them, related to theft of public assistance funds.
The two were denied bail twice previously, due to arguments made on the side of the prosecution that their discrepancies went far and wide, and that investigations were ongoing.
Defense lawyers Israel Bruce and Grant Connell had strenuously argued against the duoâs continued confinement, citing their constitutional right to freedom and saying that the prosecution could not deny them this right while they went âfishingâ.
On the defendantsâ third visit before the Serious Offences Court last Monday, prosecutor Adolphus Delplesche noted that Sergeant Alexander (the investigating officer) had indicated to him there should be no objection to bail.
âInvestigation into the matters continues,â he stated, indicating that there were other matters with regard to the accused persons that were being looked into. However, he stated that Alexander now had his âbases coveredâ.
The two were given composite bail of $30,000 and told that they should report to the Biabou Police Station every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, until their trial on May 23. They were to surrender their travel documents and stop notices were placed against them.
Sureties for both Johnson and Thomas were accepted by the court and they were allowed to walk free in the intermediary wait for trial.
When they were brought before the court on the past two occasions, Johnson and Thomas were charged that on February 7 at Owia, they did make a number of false instruments, some of these being in the name of deceased persons, and using them to induce the Government of St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) to accept them as genuine, and thereby commit an act so as to prejudice the Government.
They were also charged with conspiring, together, and with others, to steal sums of money.(KR)