A St Andrew businessman was remanded in custody Monday in the Corporate Area Criminal Court after he failed to come up with the money owing to a woman he had scammed earlier this year.
David Samuel was charged with fraudulent conversion after he sold five cell phones valuing J$173,000 and pocketed the cash instead of handing the money over to the complainant, Latoya Johns, who hired him.
The accused man drew the ire of Parish Judge Vaughn Smith when he attempted to explain his reasons for not showing up with the money he promised during his last court appearance.
Samuels, who works at the Kingston Freeport Terminal, told the judge that his incarceration has prevented him from sourcing the money and, if offered bail, he would reimburse the complainant after clearing a cheque from his workplace.
The judge told Samuels that he does not need bail to retrieve the cheque, but the accused man insisted that he will be required to go there in person as part of the Terminal’s company policy. The judge then asked Samuels if he doesn’t have a family member or loved one who could collect the cheque on his behalf, to which he replied, no.
However, the Clerk of Court, Hansard Lawson, suggested that the accused could address a letter to his workplace permitting the complainant to pick up the cheque.
The judge asked why Samuels was in custody and was told by Lawson that he was remanded on his last court appearance after he missed a court date in a separate matter.
Lawson added that the court opposes bail because of fears that the accused man will abscond again. The complainant agreed with Lawson, explaining to the judge that she has been getting the run-around from Samuels since January.
Realizing that the court was not buying his argument, Samuels revealed that he had already put measures in place for the complainant to be reimbursed on Friday, if he does not get the chance to collect the cheque.
His revelation prompted Lawson to declare, “You is a con artist!”
Judge Smith gave him a stern warning, saying “Mr. Samuels, I hope you are not wasting the court’s time here. There are serious consequences for that.”
Samuels insisted that he was not misleading the court and identified his business partner, Kimoy Gardener, as the individual whom he instructed to sell 27 phones, valuing $220,000, and then to hand over the money to the complainant.
Samuels is scheduled to return to court on Friday.