Money case back in court

Rico Montemayor was back in Summary Court on Thursday, charged with obtaining by deception more than US$1.7 million in money transfers.

The new charges were brought one week after Chief Magistrate Margaret Ramsay-Hale ruled that a previous charge against him had been brought too late.

Montemayor, 36, had pleaded guilty to operating a money service business without a licence. However, the magistrate said she had no jurisdiction because the charge had been brought outside the six-month time limit for matters triable summarily only (Caymanian Compass, 19 February).

That charge was brought under the Money Services Law. It related to Montemayor’s admission that he had used his personal bank account to receive money from Filipino nationals in Cayman and then forward it to their relatives in the Philippines. Montemayor is a Filipino.

The charges of obtaining a money transfer by deception were brought under the Penal Code.

The first alleges that, between 1 January, 2005, and 30 November, 2006, Montemayor obtained for himself money transfers in the sum of US$1,561,083 by deception – namely that he represented to the bank that he was lawfully entitled to wire transfer funds when in fact he was illegally running a money services business.

The second charge alleges that a named person, together with Montemayor, between 1 December, 2006, and 31 March, 2007, obtained for themselves money transfers in the sum of US$141,117.94 by deception – namely by representing that Montemayor was lawfully entitled to wire transfer funds when in fact he was illegally running a money services business.

Defence Attorney Clyde Allen observed that the other named person in the second charge was scheduled to be in court 23 March and he asked to return on that date. He said he would not comment whether it was proper to file these charges, given the dismissal of the previous charge.

Magistrate Grace Donalds asked if the matter would be pleaded to on the next date and Mr. Allen indicated yes.

Crown Counsel John Masters asked for a review of bail conditions, given the seriousness of the new charges.

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