Bank clerk, mechanic charged with stealing $389,000
An employee of the Bank of St Vincent and the Grenadines (BOSVG) for over 17 years and a mechanic have been charged with stealing more than $389,000 from the institution.
Yvonne Patterson, 46, and Fitzroy Douglas Jr., 28 were escorted to the Serious Offences Court (SOC) yesterday, July 27 by officers from the Major Crimes Unit, including investigating officer Sergeant 740 Biorn Duncan.
Patterson, a Green Hill resident, appeared to have difficulty moving, and had to be assisted when walking. A seat was also given to her after she appeared to find it challenging to stand in the dock.
Four charges were read to the bank clerk, while her co-accused had two.
They were both charged that, on June 18, 2020 in Kingstown, they stole $53,571.95, the property of the BOSVG, and that on July 23, 2020, they stole $335,584, also the property of the BOSVG.
Douglas replied that he was guilty of these charges, while Patterson said that she was not.
Additionally, the female defendant also faces accusations of false accounting.
She is alleged to have, on June 18, in Kingstown, dishonestly, with a view to causing loss to the BOSVG in the sum of $53,571.95, falsified the record of a deposit to the account of Fitzroy Jr. Izaras Marcus Douglas in the sum of $53,571.95, said record required for accounting purposes.
The second false accounting charge was laid against her as it relates to the $335,584 sum, allegedly stolen on July 23.
Senior Prosecutor Adolphus Delplesche made an objection to bail which was brought on by information he received from the investigator. Delplesche relayed that during the investigation it was discovered that evidence was being tampered with and destroyed. He said that the fear was that, should the defendant be granted bail the continuance of the tampering of evidence would be likely.
Counsel Jomo Thomas who represents Patterson, argued that only in certain circumstances should bail be denied, none of which seemed to apply to his client.
Thomas said that he assumed that there was sufficient evidence to bring the charges before the court, and contemplated that there was nothing in any of these charges which would indicate that there is any real further investigation that his client may tamper with.
He reminded that the court may impose stringent reporting conditions on her.
Thomas pointed to the health of the defendant, informing that she has serious back problems, which were compounded by her detention so far. “I really don’t think in her physical condition the court should accede to the request of the prosecution” to not grant bail, the counsel submitted.
Chief Magistrate Rechanne Browne queried whether Patterson would have access to any bank records.
The prosecutor noted that the documents/cheques that cannot be accounted for, the defendant would have had access to, and the evidence shows that some have been destroyed.
The defence counsel said that if the argument is that electronic devices may be used to gain access it doesn’t make sense because, given the police’s interest, it would be “foolhardy” not to have blocked the portals that allow access.
He asked once more that the court look at the situation objectively, regarding the defendant’s health.
However, the chief magistrate was not minded to consider bail at that juncture, but gave the investigators until Thursday, July 30, when she will review it once more.
In the case of Douglas, represented by Bayliss Frederick who appears with Vynnette Frederick, the prosecution had no objection to the Murray’s Village resident’s bail pending sentencing.
A $60,000 bail with one surety was allowed, and reporting conditions to the police station in his district three times every week. Douglas is to surrender all travel documents and stop notices were placed against him at all ports of entry and exit.