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Saturday 21 October 2017
News

Couple fined for defrauding casino

FINED: Alicia George is seen being escourted to the San Fernando Magistrates Court yesterday by a female police officer as she faced 49 charges of larceny.

A pregnant woman and her common-law husband pleaded for mercy yesterday from a magistrate not to be sent to jail for the $153,330 they stole from Master Class Premium Club’ over the past eight months.

They used it to pay medical bills, Alicia George, 35, of King’s Wharf, San Fernando, told magistrate Alicia Chankar in the San Fernando Magistrates’ court. Through her attorney, the woman said that she had been trying to get pregnant for the longest while. She worked at the casino on High Street, San Fernando, but had prearranged the roulette pin ball machine so that common-law husband, Antonio Andrew Anthony, 57, could keep winning.

Yesterday, both pleaded guilty to 49 charges and the magistrate ordered both to pay $93,000 each which they must pay within the next three months failing which, each will serve a total of 181 months in jail.

George and Anthony are from King’s Wharf, San Fernando, and were arrested on Friday last and charged with larceny of various sums of money from the casino between January and last week Monday. Chankar read the 49 charges to both and they pleaded guilty. The prosecutor PC Cleyon Seedan said that the casino’s owner, Chandra Maharaj, saw on surviellance camera footage that unsual amounts of money had been paid out to one particular customer — common-law husband Anthony. Police Constable Crawford of the San Fernando conducted an investigation, the prosecutor said, which revealed that George had keys to the roulette machine.

On various days since January, Seedan said, Anthony will go to the casino and George who had access to the pin ball, would place it in a winning spot on the machine. Video footage, the magistrate heard, also saw she actually placing the ball in its position and Anthony being paid out cash.

The prosecutor produced winning tickets which showed Anthony won on 49 occasions with sums ranging from $500 and $6,000 between Janaury and last week Monday.

Chankar heard that the video footage also showed George placing a particular colour of a ball in the winning slot which indicated that Anthony had won. Crawford confronted her, the prosecutor said, and she replied, “Officer, I never take all that money. All of that is small money. I continue to take one or two.” Crawford also confronted Anthony and he, the court heard, replied, “Boss, I assisted my wife a few times, but we eh take so much money.”

Attorney Analee Girwar pleaded to the magistrate against imposing a custodial sentence on the couple. George, he said, had been trying to get pregnant for the longest while and is now two-and-a-half months pregnant. She took the money to pay her medical bills, the attorney added. “Both of them are very sorry for what they did,” Girwar said.

Chankar chastised both of them and questioned whether they had intended to keep stealing until their luck had run out. “You mean you sorry your luck run out? You did not stop, but continued on and on,” Chankar said. She ordered that failing to pay the fines, George is to do 181 consecutive months simple imprisonment. Anthony will do hard labour.

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