Three women charged with embezzling over $48M in Digicel credits

Three women, who allegedly fraudulently converted in excess of $48M from Telecom Solutions (Guyana) Inc., were yesterday placed on $750,000 bail after they appeared before acting Chief Magistrate Priya Sewnarine-Beharry at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court.

According to the particulars of the charge, between June 25, 2008 and November 23, 2009, the accused Melissa Naughton, 39, of Lot 64 Robert Street, Better Hope, Candacie Marshall, 26, of 3602 North Ruimveldt and Oladara Christian, 28, of Lot 36 Shell Road, Kitty conspired together with other persons to embezzle in excess of $48M in credit from Telecom Solutions Inc.

The trio was not required to plead to the indictable charge when it was read to them.

According to the Police Prosecutor Lionel Harvey, the trio was employed at the company. He said that Naughton and Christian were employed as cashiers at the time and they were responsible for selling large amounts of Digicel credits via a computerized system.

He further said that they invalidated several transactions which were written off, after which they would revalidate those transactions and sell them to persons and receive the proceeds for themselves. The prosecutor added that an investigation was launched and it was then discovered that the transactions (air time) were sold to persons by the number three accused but the money never went into the company’s account.

The prosecutor also stated that number two accused (Marshall) was the person who allegedly from time to time solicited the customers.

Harvey had no objection to bail and indicated that the women were each placed on $200,000 station bail. He, however, asked that bail be granted at a substantial sum, taking into consideration the amount of money that was allegedly embezzled.

The trio was represented by attorneys Gordon Gilhuys and Glen Hanoman in association with Shellon Boyce and Adrian Thompson. Hanoman, who represented Christian, stressed to the court that the police had seized a laptop along with a car which did not belong to his client. Thompson, on the other hand, in his bail application said that his client has lodged her passport and does not pose a flight risk hence she should be granted her pre-trial liberty.

In handing down the bail decision, the magistrate indicated to each of the accused that they were being placed on $250,000 bail each or like surety. The matter was adjourned until January 9.

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