A currently pregnant woman, who conspired with her husband, was caught and sentenced after they stole $153,330 from her casino employer. On August 28 Monday, a magistrate described the couple as cold-hearted and ordered them to pay a sum of $186,000 in fines within 3 months. Should they fail to pay the fine, the couple shall be serving 181 months each behind bars.
Alicia George, age 33, and her common-law husband Antonio Anthony, age 37, residents of King's Wharf, San Fernando, have pleaded guilty in the San Fernando Magistrates Court to 49 charges of larceny by trick.
Alicia, who worked as a cashier, operator and supervisor at the Master Class Premium Club located at High Street, San Fernando, Trinidad and Tobago, is actually two and a half months' pregnant, and she claimed she only stole the money so she can pay for fertility drugs to help her achieve her dream of becoming pregnant.
Antonio, on the other hand, said he takes care of his ill mother and he was also a heart patient awaiting bypass surgery for the past two years. He said the money they stole was for the fertility treatment and not for his heart ailment.
Prosecutor Cleyon Seedan read a report, that between January 9 and August 21, 2017, the owner of the Master Class Premium Club Chandra Maharaj noticed a steady loss of revenue from one of their roulette machines. The owner had the machine audited in which she discovered that an amount of $153,330 had been strangely paid out to Anthony during that timeframe. After viewing surveillance footage, she then made a report to the San Fernando CID on August 24 Thursday.
On August 25 Friday at 8:15 p.m., investigator PC Crawford visited the club and confronted Alicia about the report. He told her that since she's the supervisor, she was able to enter a code for the machine, thereby causing the hydraulic system AP to work in a way that she would have access to the wheel and ball of the roulette machine, and she then altered the outcome as to what number and color the ball would be placed on. She responded, "Officer, I never take all that money, is ah lil small money me and Antonio take once or twice."
Crawford then questioned her husband, who was at the washroom area. He said to Anthony that he placed bets on a roulette machine in the club where the outcome was rigged by his wife to make sure he would win. He replied, "Boss, I assisted my wife a few times but we eh take so much money."
After that Crawford arrested the two, asked them more questions, also showed them the surveillance footage, and he also retrieved the receipts and tickets from the owner. Alicia George's lawyer, Annalee Girwar, said her client's wish in this life was to have a child. However, this led to Alicia visiting different fertility clinics and taking a myriad of drugs, but her salary could not cover her medical bills. She asks for her client to be given a non-custodial sentence, which will allow Alicia to settle her debt and preserve the life of her child.
Antonio, who represented himself, said he sold dried goods and worked part-time at the city corporation, "I real sorry my wife had to do what she had to do to try to make herself happy." He also said that they stole the money so as to help him raise funds for his heart surgery.
The prosecutor verified that Alicia was a first-time offender. However, they did not get a proper background trace on Anthonio because two criminal records were showing up on his name.
Before passing the sentence, Magistrate Chankar said spending time in jail would be the easiest way out for them, and described their actions as calculating and selfish. She said, "You are sorry because your luck ran out, that is what you are sorry for."
The magistrate scolded both of them and said there was no excuse for what they did. She said they would have continued stealing if they weren't caught.
She also said that neither wife nor husband looked remorseful, sorry or guilty. The magistrate said, "She is cold-hearted."
Each of them was fined $93,000, and they were given a deadline of three months to pay. If they fail to pay to money, Alicia George will be serving simple imprisonment, whereas her husband Antonio Anthony will do hard labor in jail.