Credit card fraud punished with 20 months imprisonment

POSTED: 07/4/13 2:57 PM

St. Maarten –Stefano Pompei gruffly announced to the Court in first Instance that he does not waive his right to appeal the punishment he received yesterday morning for credit card fraud. After a demand of 24 months by prosecutor Karola van Nie, Judge Tamara Tijhuis sentenced the 54-year-old Italian to 20 months imprisonment, with 6 months suspended and 3 years of probation.

Posing as Franco DiCaprio with a forged driver’s license and a fake credit card, Pompei bought a $77,000 Rolex watch at the Goldfinger jewelry store in Philipsburg on April 9 of this year. When he wanted to hit the store for another expensive watch the following day, he was arrested. In the meantime, the defendant had hired a car with his fake credit card and booked rooms at the Oyster Bay Beach Resort and at the Caravanserai Beach Resort.

The defendant, said to be retired and living of a pension he received from his native Italy, lives in Santa Domingo where he had a pizzeria. He claims to have been robbed of all his possessions during a recent visit to Italy and that he needed money to restart his business in the Dominican Republic.

Prosecutor Van Nie considered all charges proven. “You caused serious damages, not only to the businesses but also to the country St. Maarten. The country is plagued by these crimes. There is an organization behind it that sends people from island to island to grab as much money as possible. There is not a single motive to justify this behavior.”

The prosecutor added that there is a significant risk that the defendant will commit new and similar crimes as long as he has not solved his own financial problems.

Attorney Nerissa de La Rosa noted that her client had confessed to the charges and that he had not benefited from them. “The Rolex has been sold by the main player to a Chinese,” she said. “My client felt threatened by him and he admits that it is not smart what he has done.” mr. De La Rosa asked the court to take her client’s fragile health and his age into account.

Judge Tijhuis pointed out that the defendant is responsible for his own choices. “You were taking the risks, now you have to accept the consequences,” she said.

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