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Tuesday, June 18, 2024
HomeNewsLocal newsDocket Watch: Third Suspect Arrested, Charged with COVID Fraud

Docket Watch: Third Suspect Arrested, Charged with COVID Fraud

An additional suspect has been accused of taking part in a scheme to steal COVID-19 relief funds.(File Photo)

Two men facing charges in connection with a 2022 murder in Smith Bay are expected to hear their fate June 18 in Superior Court. A trial for defendants Jeramy Lettsome and Mackadis J. Smith, Jr. was supposed to start April 7, but instead the pair entered guilty pleas at a hearing held March 27.

Lettsome and Smith were arrested on April 20, 2022 in connection with the shooting death of 26-year-old T’Quan Vanholten at Louie’s Market in Smith Bay.

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Authorities executing a warrant detained a man charged with taking part in a scheme to rob the Office of Management and Budget of $500,000 in COVID-19 relief funds. Defendant Japheth Eustacio Roberts appeared at an initial hearing in the Superior Court’s Magistrate Division Wednesday. He is charged with multiple offenses under the Criminally Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act including grand larceny, obtaining money under false pretense, fraud committed through computer access, and committing fraud on creditors.

Agents from U.S. Customs and Border Security arrested two other individuals — Kenyatta Riddick and Andrew John — on similar charges in February. Investigators from the Economic Crimes Unit accuse Riddick and John of accessing a COVID relief fund managed by the Office of Management and Budget using a computer in order to obtain the money.

The probe leading to the initial arrests began in June 2023.

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Officers from the Virgin Islands Police Department Special Operations Bureau intervened in an apparent quarrel that broke out over a traffic incident Tuesday. Motorist Troy Anthony Raymond told police he was cut off in traffic by a motorist in a rental car in the Sub Base area. Court records say Raymond caught up with and confronted the driver near the entrance of Crown Bay Marina, asking him to wait for police to arrive.

The driver in the rental car said he became afraid and tried to leave the scene after the defendant allegedly punched the door of his car. He then accused Raymond of displaying a handgun and saying, “look at what I have for you.”

Superior Court Magistrate Paula Norkadis upheld charges of brandishing a weapon, false imprisonment and disturbance of the peace at an initial hearing held Wednesday.

An arraignment hearing is scheduled for Tuesday at 10 a.m.

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