Fraudster gets light sentence

POSTED: 02/7/13 12:41 PM

St. Maarten – Personal circumstances she did not wish to discuss in court because she claimed to fear for her life and that of her mother and brother, drove Jenny Paolo Diaz-Aguirre to a create a web of lies designed to defraud people of significant sums of money.

Yesterday Diaz-Aguirre was in the Court in First Instance where Judge Tamara Tijhuis sentenced her to a 12-month suspended prison sentence with 2 years of probation and 50 hours of community service.

The 29-year-old defendant embezzled a rental car, pretended to be working for Insel Air and thus in a position to get her hands o cheap airline tickets, claimed that she needed money to cover medical costs for her hospitalized mother – and later for her funeral, and also fabricated a story about her child that was in hospital.

They were all part of the web of lies Diaz-Aguirre spun to fleece her victims. She sold the rental car, with an estimated value of $5,000, for a song to a pawnshop, and managed to get $650 out of a man to whom she had promised cheap airline tickets, while she was in fact unemployed and not able to deliver these tickets.

Then she borrowed money from Cowboy York who attended the court hearing where the defendant’s attorney Arnout Kraaijeveld had a pleasant surprise for him: the $600 in cash the defendant still owed him. She already repaid $400 to another victim. The matter of the car is in civil court.

Diaz-Aguirre told the court she came to her misdeeds because she had been out of a job for eight months. She was also under psychiatric treatment. After her arrest, she spent 22 days in custody.

Prosecutor  Georges van den Eshof labeled the crimes as irritating. The airline tickets and the hospital stories are classic examples of fraud, he said. He demanded a 12-month suspended prison sentence with 2 years of probation and 60 hours of community service.

Attorney Kraaijeveld pointed out that his client had confessed, that she had already spent time behind bars, and that she was sorry for what she had done.

“The line between gullibility and fraud is very thin,” Judge Tamara Tijhuis noted. “But in spite of that, I consider all charges proven.” The Judge took ten hours off the demand for community service because the defendant now has a job.

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