Sint Maarten fraudster imprisoned

A man from the Dutch Caribbean territory of Sint Maarten who admitted four charges of theft and bank fraud was jailed for nine months yesterday.

Angelo Toussay, 35, pleaded guilty at Magistrates’ Court to the theft of $2,350 from HSBC and an attempt to steal a further $8,590.

He also admitted possession of plastic cards with magnetic strips and a machine designed to make fake credit cards.

Senior magistrate Juan Wolffe sentenced Toussay to nine months’ imprisonment for each charge.

He ordered the sentences to run concurrently with time already spent in custody taken into account.

Mr Wolffe said: “These sorts of offences are all too prevalent now and strike at the heart of our financial institutions.”

Toussay at first denied the charges when he appeared in court on July 29, but changed his plea to guilty on August 14.

Kenlyn Swan, for the Crown, told the court that Toussay arrived in Bermuda from Philadelphia on July 20 and stayed at a hotel in St George’s for three days.

Toussay was later seen by the hotel manager to try and get money from an HSBC in the Olde Towne.

Toussay checked out of the hotel on July 23 to catch a flight and asked the hotel manager to give his laptop bag and a speaker to an associate who would come to the hotel later that week.

The hotel manager was suspicious and inspected the speaker, which had an electronic card reader and several fake bank cards concealed inside and contacted police.

Toussay returned to the hotel later that day after he missed his flight and made a reservation for several days.

Police arrived the next day and arrested Toussay.

The court heard that police seized $2,350 in Bermuda dollars stolen from HSBC.

They also seized an additional $2,400 from Toussay, but were unsure if the cash was the proceeds of crime.

Ms Swan told the court that the offences showed a high level of sophistication and planning.

She added that Toussay was one of several foreign nationals who had attempted to steal from Bermuda banks in recent months.

Ms Swan said: “They attend this island for the sole purpose of criminality.

“These types of offences strike at the pillars of the community and attack financial institutions.”

Bruce Swan, Toussay’s lawyer, said that his client had co-operated with the police.

He added that Toussay had come to the island to get money owed to him and became involved in a criminal scheme.

Ms Swan that the Crown would ask for a forfeiture order on the other $2,400 found on Toussay.

Mr Wolffe adjourned the case until September 26.

It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding court cases. As we are legally liable for any libellous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers.

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