Man accused of defrauding another of US $16,000

March 4, 2018 7:24 AM

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A man who reportedly conned another man out of US$16000 for a generator, after sending him a picture of a container claiming the generator was being shipped from the United States, was further remanded.

Steve Smith, 51, of Brandon Hill in St Andrew, who turned up dressed in a well-tailored navy blue suit and coral print tie, was remanded by Judge Crooks after he showed up with only US$1,500 to reimburse the complainant, after the judge had previously granted him bail to accumulate the money to repay the complainant.

The court heard that on June 28, 2017, the complainant was at home when Smith approached him and introduced himself as a generator salesman, claiming he could sell him one for US$18,000.

After conversing, the complainant reportedly agreed to buy one and made a downpayment of US$4,000 on the spot.

Shortly after, the complainant, who was away in the Cayman Islands, received a message from Smith via WhatsApp, accompanied by a photograph of a container stating that he was in Miami and had purchased the generator and it was being shipped in the container to Jamaica.The complainant reportedly wired US$12,000 to Smith who promised him that he would deliver the generator to him within the next two weeks.

However, when it was time for delivery, the generator was not delivered and several calls to Smith's phone went unanswered.

As a result, the matter was reported and Smith, after reneging twice on his promise to return the complainant's money, was arrested and charged with obtaining money by false pretence.

On Friday when he appeared in court, the judge, after chiding him for turning up with a small portion of the money, asked the complainant's wife who had appeared on his behalf, if she wanted to give him another chance to return with the money or to set the matter for trial, and she went with the latter option.

Smith's lawyer also asked the judge to give Smith another chance in respect to his freedom but the judge refused, saying he had given him enough chances and he had taken the court for a ride by coming with only a small fraction of what is owed.

Additionally, the judge said not only had Smith showed up with a small amount of funds but he also had the nerve to ask for his passport to be returned.

“If I was in his position and I leave, I would not come back,” he added.

The judge, however, noted that he was always careful with how he treats persons who are charged with these offences as they are oftentimes well-dressed, intelligent and charismatic.

As such, he maintained that he would not be allowing Smith to go home.

“Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me,” he said before remanding Smith and setting a trial date for March 19.


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