(Trinidad Guardian) A 24-year-old man, who admitted to stealing almost $60,000 from his employer to pay for his wedding, is expected to be sentenced today.
Denzil McMeo, of Chaguanas, pleaded guilty to five fraud charges when he appeared before Magistrate Marissa Gomez in the Port-of-Spain Magistrate’s Court on Monday.
McMeo, a former merchandiser with Hand Arnold Distribution Company, was slapped with three charges of embezzling the company and two for falsifying the company’s payment receipts.
According to the charges, McMeo received three cash payments from the company’s clients between June and July and did not give the money to the company. He then falsified the company’s receipts to make it appear that the payments were cancelled after the documents prepared.
In making a mitigation plea for McMeo, his lawyer claimed that the fraud was the culmination of a series of unfortunate circumstances in her client’s life.
She claimed that shortly before getting the job with the company, his mother kicked him out of their home and informed him that her husband was not his father.
She said that McMeo’s moved in with his fiancé’s family but was depressed as he could not contribute to the household expenses.
Additionally, she claimed that McMeo was having difficulties meeting the sales target on the job and was told that his contract would not be renewed before he stole the money.
Asked by Gomez if he spent all the money on his wedding, his lawyer admitted that some of the money was used to repair a car which he crashed earlier this year.
“It was not a premeditated act, it was an act of desperation,” she said as she noted that he confessed to the company, police and the court.
She also said that McMeo’s in-laws had volunteered to assist him in repaying the money via a payment plan.
Responding to McMeo’s lawyer, police prosecutors said that his explanation did not justify his actions.
“Whatever the reasons, these actions should be frowned upon,” he said.
Gomez did not immediately sentence McMeo as she said she needed time to consider the facts of the case and decide on an appropriate sentence.
McMeo is expected to reappear before Gomez on Tuesday.