Back in 2009 three women were charged and were committed to stand trial in connection with monies that went missing from the Treasury Department. Monica Escarpeta, a treasury clerk was charged with theft after $291,000 disappeared from the treasury department between September 2007 and May 2009.
Escarpeta’s mother, Yvonne Bevans and Rhea Pennil were both charged with ‘Handling of stolen goods’ as it was alleged that Bevans helped Escarpeta to conceal over twelve thousand dollars knowing that it was in fact stolen. Pennil on the other hand was accused of hiding over $150,000 between the months of April and May of 2009.
Today we can tell you that the three women were acquitted of the charges that were brought up against them during a court hearing in the presence of Justice John Gonzalez. During the trial, the Director of Public Prosecutions, Cheryl Lynn Vidal, approved that there was no case to answer for both Pennil and Bevans.
The prosecution called a total of three witnesses and among them was Mark Jones, a senior auditor at the Audit Department who testified that after being instructed to do an audit, it led to the discovery of seven irregularities concerning pensioners that were fabricated. Jones stated that the vital records needed to conduct a proper audit were not available which would have included a number of personal information from each pensioner. Jones also said that the reports showed that a quantity of $398,843 had been expended.
After the case was closed by the prosecution, Attorney Anthony Sylvestre who represented the three women, stated that Bevans and Pennil did not have a case to answer simply because there was no concrete evidence to show that that they actually received any money.
With respect to Escarpeta, the attorney stated that the testimony made against her by Jones was unacceptable due to the fact that Jones confessed to obtaining the information from a report. He also mentioned that there was no proof of any money being disbursed. After the closing, Justice Gonzalez then directed the jury to return with a non-guilty verdict.
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