Published On: Wed, Apr 11th, 2018

Insel Air embezzlement case postponed

Ourt Court House by Alphonso Nestor-Hubert

PHILIPSBURG – The Court in First Instance postponed the trial against the former station manager for Insel Air in St. Maarten and a sales ticket sales agent to an unspecified future date because there is no clarity about the amount of money the two defendants allegedly embezzled from the company. The court wants to see bank statements to find out how much money the defendants deposited in the account of their now former employer.

In August 2016, Insel Air filed a complaint against station manager Alonzo Alfred H. (now 51) and sales agent Stephanie B.B. (now 28)  after discovering that the two had not deposited all the money they collected in St. Maarten from ticket sales into the company’s bank account.

The prosecution charges that Alonzo H. embezzled around $88,000 and that Stephane B.B. enriched herself by $28,000. Both defendants contested these amounts on Wednesday.

After Insel Air discovered the discrepancies, Alonzo H. fled to the Dominican Republic but he eventually returned to the island where he was arrested at his home in Fort Willem on May 16, 2017. Later he was released, awaiting his trial.

“I was paid poorly by Insel Air,” Alonzo H. told the court during a brief hearing on Wednesday. He declined to make further statements, saying that he would stick to what he told the police in the course of the investigation.

Stephane B.B. embezzled money from her employer because she was unable to make ends meet.

It appears that Insel Air’s internal control system lagged behind the incoming payments, thus enabling the two employees to grab some of the money they received from clients.

The attorney for Insel Air, Wilsoe, was present in court to explain the claim of his client against the two defendants.

Because there is a dispute about the amount of money the two defendants took – they claim it is less than the prosecution charges – the court decided to postpone the trial and to give Insel Air the opportunity to present bank statements showing the deposits that were made during the period in 2016 that covers the embezzlement.

“It is a simple calculation of the number of tickets that were sold and the amount of money that was deposited,” Wilsoe told the court.

The judge expects to handle the trial before the summer.