GEBE-supervisor acquitted of stealing client’s money

POSTED: 08/18/11 3:10 PM

St. Maarten – The Court in First Instance acquitted 44-year-old GEBE-supervisor Corinna C.P. of stealing an envelope containing $1, 960 from the bag of a customer who had come in to pay his utilities bill on March 29 and forgot his bag when he left.
Prosecutor mr. B. den Hartigh demanded a 1 month conditional prison sentence, two years probation, 100 hours of community service and repayment of the $1,960 to the plaintiff within two months after the court ruling.

Judge mr. M. Keppels, the prosecutor, attorney mr. C.H.J. Merx and the defendant reviewed video footage taken inside the GEBE-offices that showed how the defendant closes the bag the client had left behind and put it an envelope in the right-hand pocket of her pants.
Prosecutor Den Hartigh conceded that the video footage in itself is insufficient proof, if only because it does not show that the defendant took anything out of the bag. But the fact that three colleagues had declared that during a meeting at GEBE everyone, including the defendant, had declared not to have been in the bag, conflicted with later statements P. made.
Den Hartigh said that the defendant had changed her story after GEBE security had shown her the video footage. The prosecutor considered the theft convincingly proven.
mr. Merx however, started by attacking the assumption that the envelope the client said was missing from his bag had indeed contained $1,960.
“Who has established that such an amount was there? Nobody, except the plaintiff.”
The plaintiff told investigators that he had been to the bank to withdraw $2,000 and that he went early in the morning to GEBE to pay his bill. However, he got caught up in a conversation and when he left he forgot his bag. He only reclaimed it towards the end of the day, and then he discovered that the envelope with the money was missing.
GEBE security quizzed staff members the same day; colleagues indicated that Corinna P. had been nervous at that moment.

Two days after the incident, GEBE considered the supervisor the main suspect and offered her two options: resign with a severance payment, or be fired. After union-intervention GEBE suspended the supervisor.
Remarkably, the plaintiff only filed a report with the police on April 6. On April 26 he went back to the police wishing to withdraw his complaint, but the police did not allow that. The police report about the incident was written on April 28. The supervisor’s arrest followed on May12; a week later she was released.
mr. Merx said that the whole affair smelled like a setup designed to fire his client. He established that during the day in question the bag had been handled by several GEBE staff members and that any of them could have taken the money out of the bag.
“There is insufficient proof that my client did this and I ask the court to acquit her,” he said.
Judge mr. M. Keppels agreed that there is insufficient proof for a conviction and she acquitted the defendant.
“The video footage does not show that something was taken from the bag, and the bag has been at GEBE the whole day.”

Did you like this? Share it:
GEBE-supervisor acquitted of stealing client’s money by

Comments are closed.