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Haiti Gov't official resigns after admitting to US$30,000 theft

Saturday, February 23, 2013 | 9:05 AM    

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PORT AU PRINCE, Haiti (CMC) – The Haitian government says it has accepted the resignation of an employee who admitted to stealing nearly US$30,000 from a Florida bank where he worked as a teller.

The Palm Beach Post in Florida reported earlier this week that Karl Jean-Jeune, the aide to first lady Sophia Martelly was working for her even though he had a criminal record.

Government said that Jean-Jeune's resignation was accepted Monday, the very day that the newspaper’s article was posted on the internet.

Jean-Jeune had earlier refused to comment on the newspaper article but the advocacy group, National Network for the Defense of Human Rights, wrote an open letter to President Michel Martelly telling him he should send a strong signal that his government wanted to end impunity.

The newspaper cited a police report that said Jean-Jeune admitted to sheriff's deputies and bank executives that he stole US$28,700 through cash exchanges while working at a Washington Mutual branch in Lake Worth, Florida.

The alleged theft happened when a bank employee said she suspected that Jean-Jeune had embezzled the money that he had posted between May and August 2007.

The newspaper said the Florida Department of Corrections lists Jean-Jeune as being on the run from a six-year probation sentence he was supposed to serve.

The newspaper said that a judge had ordered Jean-Jeune to repay the bank and that his probation could be terminated after 18 months if he repaid the full amount of money he admitted to stealing.

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