Chief Magistrate, Her Honor, Tamara Gill has imposed a $15, 000 fine on 25-year old Chierenzie Phillip of Fontenoy who was convicted of three counts of Identity Theft.
Phillip was given five months to pay the money and in default serve a 12-month sentence at the Richmond Hill Prison.
The St. George woman pleaded guilty to the offenses at the St. George’s No. 1 Magistrate’s Court on July 4, before Chief Magistrate, Her Honor, Tamara Gill, who remanded her to the prison to await sentencing, which was handed down last week Thursday.
The first-time offender was charged under the Electronic Crimes Act and faced a maximum sentence of 9 years and fines in excess of $100, 000 for the offenses, which were committed on November 2, 2016, March 5, and 6, 2017.
The offences were reportedly committed against three customers of the Clear Habor Call Centre in Grand Anse, St. George, where she was employed as a customer sales representative, attached to a health store in North Dakota, since September 2016.
Phillip who was placed in a position of trust to help Clear Harbor customers purchase items online, was arrested on March 17, after investigations by the company’s human resource manager, revealed that she had fraudulently used the credit card information of at least three customers in the United States to purchase personal items online, amounting to US$750.00.
In handing down the sentence, Chief Magistrate Gill turned down a request by Phillip’s attorney, Francis Williams, for the conviction to be struck off her record.
The attorney had begged for leniency on Phillip’s behalf when she made her first court appearance.
Williams told the court that his client had acknowledged her mistake and wanted to make good with her life by pursuing higher education through St. George’s University (SGU).
He said that a conviction against her name would only tarnish that dream and drew the court’s attention to the lifetime implications of the conviction.
The Chief Magistrate pointed to the seriousness of the offense, noting that identity theft is a first for Grenada and the region, a crime that could have serious implications, not only for the company but also the country.
Outraged family members did everything possible to prevent the media from taking photos of the convicted woman as she exited the courtroom after the sentence was handed down.
Her mother who was present for the hearing helped to cover the daughter’s face with a piece of clothing.
“Doh take no picture of me dam child,” the mother shouted at reporters.
That’s not news,” she added as they left the compound and headed straight to the entrance of a store directly across the street, where they were picked up by a vehicle within minutes.
“Bounce their (the media workers) a…s, the mother was heard shouting as the vehicle drove off.