Trinidad: Man steals $60,000 from employer to pay for wedding

(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.

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