Antigua and Barbuda
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Man ordered to pay restitution and fine to courier service he stole from

By Latrishka Thomas

[email protected]

A 40-year-old man admitted to stealing almost $9,000 from his employer a few years ago, and has been ordered to not only repay the company but also the state.

In the High Court on Friday, Jermaine Joseph admitted to stealing $8,642 from Wings Inc, a local courier service where he worked seven years ago.

Joseph was employed as a customer service representative by the company in 2015, and was responsible for Customs brokerage, contacting clients and collection of clients’ invoice payments.

The company used QuickBooks accounting software programme which prepares invoices, records payments received and the outstanding balance.

The defendant had his own personal username and password and, due to limited staff at the time, he was given the privilege of making adjustments to transactions without restrictions.

The loss of revenue came to light when clients stated that they had paid monies directly to the defendant for the items they imported, and had received their receipts, but their invoices remained open and unpaid within QuickBooks.

An accountant examined the financial records for January 2017 to December 2019 and noticed the outstanding balances for invoices created by the defendant.

That means that the defendant, who was 35 years old at the time, was taking monies from clients and not depositing the funds.

When confronted by the company’s owner he admitted to stealing the monies between the period of April 2016 and June 2017.

In his statement to the police, Joseph said he started taking the money five months after he was hired.

He initially claimed that he was being blackmailed but in a later interview he said that had been a lie.

He admitted to taking over $8,000 and promised to pay it back.

But in a later interview he said it was greed that led him to steal and that he had lied about being blackmailed.

Joseph was represented by lawyer Dane Hamilton Jnr who told the court that his client took the money in order to give financial assistance to his daughter and had hoped to repay it with his salary.

The defendant went on to tell Justice Colin Williams that he went to work for Wings with good intentions but eventually needed to assist his daughter who lives in the US.

He then expressed remorse and begged for a non-custodial sentence.

The judge ordered him to repay the company in full by July 25 or spend a year behind bars.

He also has to pay $5,000 to the state by the end of September or spend an additional nine months in jail.

The offence carries a maximum prison sentence of three years.