Tourist Bureau embezzlement investigation: Roorda, Labega and Richardson called to testify one more time

POSTED: 09/25/14 1:36 PM

St. Maarten – Bas Roorda, Regina Labega, Lisa Koffi, Frans Richardson, Hiro Shigemoto, Alex Richardson, Miguel de Weever and Keith Graham will all be heard at witnesses at the request of the attorney of Edward Dest, the former head of marketing at the Tourist Bureau who is standing trial on charges of embezzlement.

Judge Koos van de Ven adjourned the trial to an unspecified future date but ruled that it will have to take place within six months, considering that the charges refer to fact dating back to 2009 and also considering the defendant’s health.

The court rejected the request to hear other witnesses, like Lasana Sekou and Sherry Hazel, because it is not clear how hearing these witnesses would benefit the defense.

Dest is a suspect in an investigation into abuse of a Chase-bank account in New York that was set up by the government to cover the expenses for its New York based Tourist Bureau office. However, this account was also used for other payments. The trial will focus on the rules that were in place for the use of the bank account and on the question whether exceptions from those rules were allowed.

Airport director Regina Labega is also a suspect in this investigation but it is unclear when, or whether she will be called to court.

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