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Houston Woman Pleads Guilty To Wire Fraud

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Marvelous Eghage, 39, of Houston, Texas pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ruth Miller on Monday.

According to court documents, between February 26, 2018, and March 13, 2018, Eghage devised a scheme to fraudulently obtain money and property by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses and promises directed to third parties.

Through her fraudulent scheme, Eghage diverted funds from her victims to a bank account under her controlled by way of electronic wires and later withdrew or transferred the funds for her own personal benefit and the benefit of others.

Specifically, court documents show that on February 26, 2018, Eghage and a co-conspirator electronically transferred $25,400.00 to an account under Eghage’s control. These funds were fraudulently acquired through forged checks from the account of R.B.R.

On March 6, 2018, Eghage and a co-conspirator, fraudulently induced a representative of Colombia-based FDN to electronically transfer $34,965.00 to a Houston, Texas bank account under Eghage’s control.

On March 7, 2018, Eghage and a co-conspirator fraudulently induced N.D. to electronically
transfer approximately $48,000.00 to a Houston, Texas bank account controlled by Eghage.

On March 8, 2018, Eghage fraudulently induced M.R. to transfer money to a bank account under her control.

Lastly, on March 9, 2018, Eghage and a coconspirator fraudulently induced a representative of a law firm based in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, to electronically transfer approximately $108,637.00 to a Houston, Texas bank account under Eghage’s control.

Eghage used email communications to induce her victims into her fraudulent scheme. Eghage faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000.00.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Everard Potter.

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Banco Popular Is The First Virgin Islands Bank To Offer ‘Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund’

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Banco Popular’s commitment to its customers and its community was recently recognized when its Popular Checking Account, available for Virgin Islands clients, received a certification from the prestigious non-profit entity Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund.

This certification was granted after complying with the Bank On National Account Standards (2021 – 2022) for consumer transaction accounts that are considered safe and affordable.

Bank On-certified accounts promotes financial inclusion for the underbanked and unbanked consumers through standard account features that ensure low cost while offering robust transaction capabilities.

Popular Checking Account for the Virgin Islands stands out for:

  • Low monthly cost (ranging from $2 to $5).
  • Initial minimum deposit.
  • Ability to pay bills and make purchases.

“The mission of financial inclusion and equitable access to banking services closely aligns with Popular’s core values. We are proud to be the first bank in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands with a product that receives a distinction of this magnitude. Since our inception 128 years ago, Popular has been committed to having a presence in our communities and being accessible to all types of customers. Our Bank On certification is another big step in the right direction,” said Luis Cestero, Executive Vice President of Individual Banking at Popular. 

The goal of Bank On is to ensure that everyone has access to safe and affordable financial products and services. The Bank On National Account Standards identify critical product features for appropriate bank or credit union accounts, making it easier for local coalitions across the country to connect to accounts that meets their needs. 

 

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About Popular, Inc.

Popular, Inc. (NASDAQ: BPOP) is the leading financial institution in Puerto Rico, by both assets and deposits, and ranks among the top 50 U.S. bank holding companies by assets. Founded in 1893, Banco Popular de Puerto Rico, Popular’s principal subsidiary, provides retail, mortgage and commercial banking services in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Popular also offers in Puerto Rico auto and equipment leasing and financing, investment banking, broker-dealer and insurance services through specialized subsidiaries. In the mainland United States, Popular provides retail, mortgage and commercial banking services through its New York-chartered banking subsidiary, Popular Bank, which has branches located in New York, New Jersey and Florida.

 About the Cities for Financial Empowerment Fund (CFE Fund)

The CFE Fund supports municipal efforts to improve the financial stability of households by leveraging opportunities unique to local government. By translating cutting edge experience with large scale programs, research, and policy in cities of all sizes, the CFE Fund assists mayors and other local leaders to identify, develop, fund, implement, and research pilots and programs that help families build assets and make the most of their financial resources. The CFE Fund is currently working in over 100 cities and counties and has disbursed over $55 million to local governments and their partners to support these efforts. For more information, please visit www.cfefund.org or follow us on Twitter at @CFEFund.

 

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Mastercard, Trinidad & Tobago Fast Track Its Digital Transformation

PORT OF SPAIN — Mastercard and Trinidad & Tobago International Financial Center (TTIFC) announced their partnership to develop and implement strategic solutions that advance digital and financial inclusion by supporting fintech companies on the island. This agreement between Mastercard and TTIFC will accelerate digitalization.

Through this partnership, Mastercard will leverage its global technology platforms, insights, and experience from working with governments and fintech companies around the world to support Trinidad & Tobago in achieving its digital transformation objectives. The key areas of focus in the agreement include:

·         Mastercard and TTIFC will optimize relationships with fintech companies, best practices in payments and services to drive its digital agenda, which directly supports efforts toward financial inclusion, and creating secure and accessible digitized payment solutions for small and medium-sized businesses.

Mastercard, Trinidad & Tobago Fast Track Its Digital Transformation

·         The organizations will drive assessments of the ways in which the government can leverage technology to improve the disbursement of social benefits, payroll management and other public sector payments. As seen in other countries around the world, digitization of such payments paves the way for benefits such as increased efficiencies, ease of access and security for citizens.

“The Caribbean is experiencing exponential growth in digitalization, and Trinidad & Tobago is leading the way. We are supporting this dramatic transformation and efforts to enable financial inclusion, especially after the global challenges we are facing due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” according to Dalton Fowles, Mastercard Country Manager for Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago.

“As the TTIFC seeks to modernize the way citizens interact with the Government in terms of payments, it is imperative to have experienced partners such as Mastercard who have the expertise and insights in enabling ‘cashless societies’,” explained John Outridge, Chief Executive Officer of TTIFC.

Mastercard and TTIFC have cemented their relationship through a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), signed by John Outridge, Chief Executive Officer of TTIFC, and Dalton Fowles, Mastercard Country Manager for Jamaica and Trinidad & Tobago.

The MoU underlines Mastercard’s ongoing efforts to advance digital and financial inclusion through human capital development and small business engagement, supporting its global commitment to bring one billion people and 50 million micro and small businesses into the digital economy by 2025.

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Biggs Taps 2 Women For Top Posts At VIEDA’s Economic Development Bank

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Kelly Thompson Webbe and Monique Samuel were recently appointed as Chief Financial Officer and Managing Director of the Economic Development Bank (EDB), respectively, at the Virgin Islands Economic Development Authority (VIEDA) in July 2021, according to an announcement from Wayne L. Biggs, Jr., VIEDA chief executive officer.  Each woman served previously in interim capacities for their respective positions and began serving in their top spots effective July 16, 2021. 

As the VIEDA’s Chief Financial Officer, Thompson Webbe will oversee the VIEDA’s Department of Administration and Finance focusing on the VIEDA’s return on investments (ROI), increasing revenues, assisting with operations and the overall work culture, and expanding technology for increased efficiency. As she permanently joins the executive team, Thompson Webbe will report directly to the VIEDA’s Chief Executive Officer. Samuel joins the VIEDA senior management team and will continue to oversee the operations of the Economic Development Bank while identifying positive financial solutions for local small to medium-sized businesses. She will report directly to VIEDA’s Assistant Chief Executive Officer. The EDB is one of four entities under the VIEDA.

A VIEDA team member for more than 13 years, Thompson Webbe previously served as the VIEDA’s Interim Chief Financial Officer since November 2019. Thompson Webbe currently oversees all of the VIEDA’s financial functions including, but not limited to, accounting, external audits, budgeting, cash management and financial reporting. She has also been recognized for her consistent foresight in identifying and recommending solutions to operational issues that have a positive fiscal impact on the VIEDA. 

Thompson Webbe continued to greatly contribute to the VIEDA team and the business community during her term as Interim CFO, most notably by maintaining the highest audit rating ( an unqualified opinion ) an entity can receive for its financial statements, and implementing Automatic Clearing House (ACH) payment process, which assists the VIEDA Accounts Payable team in streamlining the vendor payment process. Recognized by her VIEDA peers and other stakeholders as an objective and fair leader, Mrs. Thompson Webbe was selected as VIEDA Employee of the Year in 2013 and 2019. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Accounting and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of the Virgin Islands.  

A proactive leader who has dedicated her career to building transparent relationships that ultimately help businesses identify positive financial solutions that address their needs, Samuel has dedicated more than 18 years to the VIEDA’s Economic Development Bank. She recently served in dual roles as Interim Director of Lending and Senior Loan Officer for the EDB for over three years.

As the EDB’s Interim Director of Lending and Senior Loan Officer, Samuel’s responsibilities included assessing and improving customer experience, managing the risk of the loan portfolio, managing a team of four (4) employees, establishing new business leads, partnering with public and private organizations/stakeholders to fulfill the EDB’s mission and goals, analyzing loan requests, overseeing the VIEDA Incubator Program, and leading the development of entrepreneurial opportunities for businesses operating throughout the Territory.  Samuel also served several years in the private sector within the banking industry.

Samuel has a master of business administration degree in Management from American InterContinental University and earned the credential of a Certified Public Manager through the Virgin Islands Division of Personnel’s Certified Public Manager® (CPM) Program. In 2018 and 2020, Samuel was selected as VIEDA Manager of the Year for her skills in professionalism, leadership, communication, customer focus activities, commitment, quality work, teamwork, and innovation.

For more information, send an email to info@usvieda.org

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Cryptocurrencies, Central Banks and the Caribbean: OP-ED By David Jessop

In less than three months’ time, El Salvador intends becoming the first country in the world to make Bitcoin its official currency alongside the U.S. Dollar.

The country’s president, Nayib Bukele, a populist and media savvy disruptor, says that his decision will generate employment, enable the financial inclusion of tens of thousands of the country’s citizens who operate outside the formal economy, and enable its large diaspora in the U.S. and elsewhere to send money to their families more cheaply. The idea is that the government will guarantee convertibility to dollars at the time of transaction through a US$150 million trust fund created at the country’s development bank BANDESAL.

Others are far from sure how this will work.

The IMF says it needs to assess the legal, financial, macroeconomic and regulatory problems that may occur in relation to the $1 billion loan it is considering, and the World Bank has expressed an unwillingness to assist in implementation given Bitcoin’s “environmental and transparency drawbacks.” It is also unclear how the country will manage the risks inherent in its volatility: Bitcoin peaked in March at 58,734 to the U.S. Dollar before falling back to around 39,091 this month.

Paradoxically, El Salvador is taking this uncharted course just as regulatory authorities around the world are exploring how they can manage the risks posed by cryptocurrencies.

In the last few days, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, the primary global standard setter for regulation by central banks, has said that it is consulting on a proposal that would see digital currency assets placed into two differently managed groups. Cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin, it said, will be subject to ‘a new conservative prudential treatment’ while others will be eligible for treatment under the existing Basel Framework for banks

The announcement follows an unrelated decision last month by the Financial Stability Committee of China’s State Council, which announced it would “crack down on Bitcoin mining and trading behavior.” Subsequent commentary in China’s state media made clear that its financial institutions must not participate in or facilitate cryptocurrency transactions and criticized the profligate use of energy for Bitcoin mining. Though not stated, these developments may relate to work the country’s Central Bank is undertaking on the creation of a digital currency and electronic payment system for a Digital Yuan that may eventually be promoted as a global reserve currency.

A further indirect blow was struck when the U.S. Department of Justice challenged the assumption that crypto currencies are secure.  Using blockchain analysis, it seized back 63.7 bitcoins worth US$2.3 million, paid by Colonial Pipeline to ransomware hackers by obtaining in an undisclosed way the private key needed to access the money.

These developments affecting the future of unregulated cryptocurrencies suggest that the innovative, balanced and progressive approach being taken towards digital currencies by Caribbean nations have real value.

It has long been evident that the Caribbean needs to modernize and speed up its creaking, largely conservative banking and payments systems in ways that embrace the unbanked and rural communities, works around the region’s fragmented geography, and helps citizens cope during a pandemic and during post-disaster recovery.

The challenge has been how to do so in a manner that is developmental in a region of multiple currencies, reduces the relatively high cost of transactions, remittances and monetary exchange; embraces tourism; and supports the growing pressure on banks and businesses to respond to complex international anti-money laundering and terrorism financing requirements.

What now sets the Caribbean apart from those seeking to use or promote cryptocurrencies is the development of what are known as Central Bank Digital Currencies or CBDCs. These provide an electronic record in the form of a digital token that represents in virtual form a fiat currency, issued and backed by a government or regional financial authority.

This year has seen the Bahamas and the Eastern Caribbean introduce two such currencies.

The first was the Bahamas’ SandDollar, a CBDC issued by the Bahamas Central Bank, which can be used for transactions on mobile phones. A few months later, the East Caribbean Currency Union (ECCU) launched a digital EC Dollar pilot project known as D Cash.  This involves Antigua, Grenada, St. Kitts and St Lucia, developing a digital payment platform backed by the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank, which, after a twelve-month assessment, is expected to roll out the initiative in all eight ECCU nations.

Other Caribbean countries are also exploring the use of digital CBBCs. They include Belize and Jamaica, which hope to have fully operational systems in place by 2022; Haiti, which intends developing a pilot program; and Barbados, which has been using since 2017 a ‘synthetic’ CBDC issued by a third party, backed 101 percent by notes and coins, supervised by the Central Bank and the country’s Financial Services Commission. However, this has yet to progress to a Central Bank issued CBDC. Suriname too has explored a CBDC, and Cuba is considering the role of cryptocurrencies and CBDCs for the additional reason that their use may enable transactions that U.S. sanctions have made it hard to undertake

There is also potential interest elsewhere. Speaking recently at a virtual conference in the Cayman Islands, the Caribbean economist, Marla Dukharan, has suggested that as a world-class jurisdiction that is entrepreneurial, progressive and forward-looking, it should be exploring technologies that help to distinguish it from others.

More generally, Dukharan, who also works with Bitt, the Barbados-based Fintech company that helped develop D Cash and other Caribbean digital currencies, says that future initiatives have to come from policy makers and those with an interest supporting socio-economic development since CBDCs are unlikely to be of interest to the non-indigenous banking sector in the region.

She believes that government, private sector and cross border transactions for trade and remittances can be made much more affordable and efficient. “Policymakers have the potential to completely change the way business is conducted,” she stresses. “I am proud that the Caribbean is becoming the world’s Central Bank Digital Currencies hotspot, supportive of financial inclusion, compliance efficiency and less informality. These are important considerations especially for the Caribbean.”

She is right. Carefully monitored Central Bank regulated digital currencies could, in a decade, not only revolutionize Caribbean financial transfers, but do much to engage the unbanked, encourage intra-regional trade and even facilitate the reconceptualization of the Caribbean Single Market and Economy.

—David Jessop

David Jessop is a consultant to the Caribbean Council and can be contacted at

david.jessop@caribbean-council.org

Previous columns can be found at https://www.caribbean-council.org/research-analysis/

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Eastern Caribbean Dollar Goes Digital, A Help For Unbanked

SAN JUAN — The Eastern Caribbean has created its own form of digital currency meant to help speed transactions and serve people without bank accounts.

The Eastern Caribbean Central Bank said its “DCash” is the first such blockchain-based currency introduced by any of the world’s currency unions, though some individual nations have similar existing systems.

It became available Wednesday in four island nations under a yearlong pilot program: St. Lucia, Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda, and St. Kitts and Nevis.

“(It) is a milestone in the history of monetary instruments,” said Bitt CEO Brian Popelka during a press conference broadcast online.

DCash was created by Barbados-based fintech company Bitt in partnership with the central bank. Unlike cryptocurrencies, it is issued by an official central bank and has a fixed value, tied to the existing Eastern Caribbean dollar used across much of the region.

The system allows users even without bank accounts — but with a smartphone — to use a downloaded app and make payments via a QR code. Those without bank accounts would go to a previously approved agent or nonbanking financial institution who would verify a person’s information and then approve a “DCash” wallet. That person would then go to a supermarket or other store and give the cashier physical cash which would then be deposited as digital currency in their wallet, Bitt spokesman Chris Burnett told The Associated Press.

In addition, there are limits on the amount of money people can send via DCash, there are no plans for now of integrating credit cards and interest does not apply to the digital currency.

While many in the Eastern Caribbean cheered the historic move, some experts worry that digital currency issued by smaller countries could end up being used as a conduit for illicit activities, including terrorism financing and money laundering, said Eswar Prasad, a trade policy professor at Cornell University.

“That skepticism is waning as more central banks get into the act, and as central banks around the world face the inevitability of the declining use of physical cash,” he said.

He noted that the Bahamas last year became the first country to roll out its digital currency nationwide, and that the Marshall Islands is considering its own cryptocurrency. For smaller countries, “there is more at stake” in part because many people remain unbanked, he said.

“That’s why I think small countries are being more aggressive about this, simply because they need to,” Prasad said.

Officials said that by September at the latest, the digital currency will be available in Anguilla, Dominica, Montserrat and St. Vincent and the Grenadines, which form part of the eight island economies under the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.

The project aims to see a 50% reduction in the use of physical cash by 2025, said Sharmyn Powell, chairperson of the bank’s fintech working group.

“It’s safer, faster and cheaper,” Powell said.

Central Bank Governor Timothy N.J. Antoine said he envisions farmers, fishermen, small business owners, single mothers and people without bank accounts, among others, using the digital currency.

“Payments are still too slow and too expensive,” Antoine said of the current system. “We heard you, and we have delivered.”

Antoine said it is harder to steal digital cash and said it’s a safe way to make payments while avoiding contact during the pandemic.

One Eastern Caribbean dollar is currently equivalent to 37 U.S. cents. All Eastern Caribbean notes feature Queen Elizabeth II of England as head of the Commonwealth.

The project comes more than two months after the European Central Bank, the Bank of Japan, the Bank of Canada, the Bank of England, the Swedish Riksbank and the Swiss National Bank created a group to study whether they should issue digital currencies.

The Swedish central bank already has commissioned a pilot program. Meanwhile, China rolled out a digital currency in four cities in April 2020 as part of a pilot program that has since expanded to more than two dozen cities.

However, Lee Rainers, a fintech law and policy professor at Duke University, said it remains to be seen whether central bank digital currency is the future.

“I approach it with a sense of skepticism because this technology has been around for over 10 years now but has not taken off as a broad medium of exchange,” he said.

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V.I. Department of Labor Bounces Checks To Unemployment Insurance Recipients This Week

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Local residents who received an NSF Unemployment Insurance check from the Virgin Islands Department of Labor this week are being asked to redeposit those checks into their bank accounts, the Department said.

VIDOL said a “timing issue” affecting all UI recipients who don’t bank with Popular Bank left the Department with egg on its face this week because the Virgin Islands government checks bounced.

“The V.I. Department of Labor (VIDOL) has met with bank representatives to further ensure that payments made to unemployment recipients are being honored,” the department said on its website Thursday. “There were reports of a timing issue, with the settlement of the draw made by VIDOL and the transmission of funds to the bank, that affected the clearing process.”

V.I. Department of Labor Bounces Checks To Unemployment Insurance Recipients This Week

Some of the checks for people unemployed because of COVID-19 are backed by federal funds.

“Some checks deposited from banks other than Banco Popular may have incurred some issues,” VIDOL said. “Bank representatives advise the Department that individuals who are affected should retain and redeposit those checks.”

People throughout the territory complained on social media that their unemployment checks were labeled “Not Sufficient Funds” after depositing them in their banks this week.

Labor Commissioner Gary Molloy acknowledged this week in a published report that his staff at VIDOL is “tired” and “overworked.” Molloy made no official comment on the bounced checks.

V.I. Department of Labor Bounces Checks To Unemployment Insurance Recipients This Week

States and territories are experiencing significant challenges in processing the massive volume of claims resulting from the pandemic and managing the influx of calls through their call centers in their regular UI program and the CARES Act UI programs, the U.S. Department of Labor said.

Almost all states are experiencing some level of backlogs, the USDOL said.

“The Department is monitoring backlogs and working with states (and) territories, including the U.S. Virgin Islands, to implement strategies to improve processing times where feasible,” a USDOL spokesman told the Virgin Islands Free Press. “There are no criminal penalties in federal UI laws if a state/territory mails a check to a claimant that is found to have insufficient funds.”

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The Difference Between Online And Bank Loan Applications

If there is one thing that most people share, it is the concern about financial security and money in general. Sooner or later, most people find themselves in debt –– whether that is credit card payments, mortgages, or anything. There are those that try to think of innovative solutions to their financial woes, so they start their own businesses or invest their money. But that is still a luxury that a lot of people cannot afford, so they end up taking loans. While loans do have their problems, they can often be a solution to your debt situation. There are plenty of different lending options, but the two most popular ones are bank loan applications and the online option.

So, what exactly is the difference between these two in particular? 

Availability 

When it comes to availability, there are a few differences between online and bank loan applications that you need to understand. After the global financial crisis of 2008, banks became more reluctant to give out personal loans, because they simply weren’t worth the risk. Things obviously became a bit easier with time, but as a rule of thumb, a bank would prefer if their clients dealt with credit cards rather than loans because the former have higher interest rates. Online lenders, on the other hand, are much more available and they don’t have the same problems with offering personal loans for whoever needs them.

Speed 

A person who is looking for a personal loan wants to get it done as soon as possible, and they don’t want to go through a ton of paperwork to do so. Unfortunately, that is often the case with banks. Their loan application process is lengthy, and it takes a lot more time to get it over with. Online applications have much simpler procedures, and plenty of service providers don’t even need a hard credit check. So, the process is done faster and you can get your money as soon as possible. The loan approval process is generally fast with online lenders, which is helpful because you will need to take your time finding just the right lender. 

Convenience 

When it comes to convenience, online loan applications are obviously the winner. You can get the process done from the comfort of your home, at whatever time you want. You could do it at night in your bed, and you don’t need to go to a bank in the middle of the day or anything. You should also know that, depending on your specific situation, you could take whichever amount you need. It can be as low as £100 or as high as £10,000, which is great because people don’t always want to take large sums of money; sometimes it is just a couple of hundred pounds that you need.

Interest rates

The Difference Between Online And Bank Loan Applications

Since in either case you are borrowing money, you will naturally want to know which is cheaper for you. It actually depends. Online loan application fees are generally cheaper than banks’, because the latter have running costs that are simply not available with online lenders. The interest rates, though, might be higher with online applications. This is because they are often unsecured loans, which means you are not putting up any collateral, and therefore you will have to pay higher interest rates.

With banks, you could use collateral to get a lower rate, and even if you got an unsecured loan, it will most likely cost you less in terms of interest in the long run. There is one thing that is definitely for online loan interest rates, though, and that is the fact that they are fixed. So, you will know beforehand just how much money you will end up paying by the time the loan duration is over. Banks, however, might charge varying interest rates, which can be quite tricky to manage. 

Flexibility 

A very cool option you get with online loan applications is the ability to get low payments if you want, as mentioned earlier. More importantly, you can get those low payments over short periods of time, which means you won’t have to pay interest rates for too long. With banks, it is a bit different. A loan duration is often fixed, and it will not be less than six months in most cases, which might not work for you.

You definitely need to carefully weigh your options before going with either choice. Bank and online loan applications each have their pros and cons, and you will have to consider all angles before making a final decision. In any case, when it comes to online loans, you always need to shop around until you find the best offers available. 

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2nd St. Croix Woman Charged In Theft $4K From Old Woman’s Credit Card

FREDERIKSTED — The second of two St. Croix women charged with stealing $4,000 from an elderly woman’s credit card was arrested recently, authorities said.

Detectives of the VIPD Economic Crimes Unit arrested Marjorie Harry, 46, on a bench warrant for aggravated identity theft, forgery, obtaining money by false pretense, grand larceny, and fraudulent use of a credit card.

In June 2018, detectives initiated an investigation that revealed that Harry, along with her alleged co-conspirator Ivia Rivera, allegedly forged an elderly female’s signature on documents and split the stolen money between themselves, according to the VIPD.

Bail for Harry was set at $100,000. Unable to post bail, Harry was remanded to the custody of the Virgin Islands Bureau of Corrections pending an advice-of-rights hearing in the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands.

On December 6 at approximately 4:31 p.m., Detectives from the Virgin Islands Police Department’s Economic Crimes Unit and officers from the Virgin Islands Crime Initiative Unit VICI arrested the 26-year-old Rivera, charging her with aggravated identity theft, obtaining money by false pretense, grand larceny, and conspiracy. 

A police investigation revealed that Rivera, working as a teller in a St. Croix bank, was able to print out a temporary check in the amount of $4,000.00 under an association’s account, retrieved the victim’s driver’s license and cashed the check without the victim’s knowledge, the VIPD said.

Bail for Rivera was set at $50,000. Unable to post bail, she was remanded to the Virgin Islands Bureau of Corrections pending an advice-of-rights hearing in the Superior Court of the Virgin Islands.

2nd St. Croix Woman Charged In Theft K From Old Woman's Credit Card
ARRESTED DECEMBER 6: Ivia Rivera, 26, on St. Croix