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HomeNewsArchivesV.I. Supreme Court Overturns One Conviction Against Former GERS Administrator

V.I. Supreme Court Overturns One Conviction Against Former GERS Administrator

The V.I. Supreme Court upheld five of former Government Employees Retirement System Administrator Willis Todmann’s six criminal charges stemming from his submitting forged documents to get a second salary, but the court overturned one charge related to a GERS Diners Club Card of Todmann’s.

Todmann was convicted in 2011 of:
– Two counts of obtaining money by false pretenses; one for submitting a false memorandum with the forged signature of the chairman of the GERS Board of Trustees that allowed him to get an unauthorized second salary for the position of chief financial officer while he was already being paid for being the acting administrator of GERS. And one for secretly getting Diners Club to issue him a business account card secured by GERS without GERS approval and using it for personal purchases.
– one count of "uttering," under the V.I. forgery statute, for submitting a misleading proposed budget to the Board of Trustees. In the proposed budget which was submitted by Todmann, the position of CFO was listed as vacant and to be filled when in fact, the money for the salary for that position was actually being paid to Todmann.
– one count of fraud under the GERS statute for falsifying a GERS record, for the aforementioned misleading budget.
– one count of embezzlement by fiduciary, for using his position as chief financial officer and acting administrator of GERS to enrich himself.
– and one count of grand larceny.

Todmann appealed the convictions, arguing that questions asked by jurors were prejudicial and inappropriate, and the evidence insufficient to convict.

The court upheld his convictions on all but one charge, saying Todmann has not demonstrated that the questions asked by the jurors directly prejudiced him or violated any rule of evidence.

It overturned the conviction related to his use of the Diners Club card, finding that – while Todmann kept the card through deceptive and surreptitious acts, and he was forbidden to have the card – the government did not show that GERS was harmed. Todmann paid the credit card bills, so there was no cost to GERS.

Since there was no harm to GERS and Todmann did not financially benefit, there was insufficient evidence to conclude Todmann used the card to gain money by false pretenses, the court concluded.

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