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Thursday, September 29, 2022


St. Croix businesswoman Anne Abramson and contractor Berthill Thomas have been indicted for a second time by a federal grand jury and charged with conspiracy, bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds, making false claims to the United States, making false statements within the jurisdiction of a federal agency and tax fraud.
In all, 15 counts were returned in the grand jury's second superseding indictment.
On Dec. 12, 1998, a grand jury handed down a 10-count indictment against the pair, which alleged, among other violations, that Thomas and Abramson conspired to corruptly give and accept money in exchange for Abramson hiring Thomas to repair a roof at the Department of Finance in St. Thomas.
Thomas was indicted on three counts but a jury could not reach a verdict on any of the charges against Abramson.
This week's indictment alleges two additional charges against Thomas and six new charges against Abramson. Both are charged with making a false claim and false statements to FEMA. Thomas is charged with submitting an inflated invoice for work he performed at the Arthur Richard Junior High School on St. Croix.
The indictment alleges Abramson violated territorial conflict-of-interest statutes and that she filed a false federal income tax return for the year 1996.
The maximum penalty for a conviction of bribery concerning programs receiving federal funds is 10 years incarceration and a $250,000 fine. The offenses of making false claims to the United States and making false statements within the jurisdiction of a federal agency carry maximum penalties of five years incarceration and $250,000 fines for each count of conviction.
The maximum penalty for the territorial conflict of interest offense is imprisonment for not less than one year nor more than five years; and/or a fine of $5,000 or a sum equal to any money gained from the violation, whichever is greater.

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