Travel agent to be sentenced for fraud

ST ANDREW, Jamaica — A travel agent is to appear in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court for sentencing on January 23, 2023, after he pleaded guilty to not using the $69,000 a client gave him to book accommodations at a Negril hotel.

The accused, Tyrce Wiggan, stood before Senior Parish Judge Lori-Ann Cole-Montague on Tuesday, as he pleaded guilty to the offence of fraudulent conversion.

The court was told that arrangements were made with Wiggan by the complainant to book accommodations at the hotel for October 25 to 27. On October 19, the complainant’s girlfriend transferred $69,000 to Wiggan’s bank account. However, when they arrived at the hotel, the complainant learnt that the money was not paid over, and all attempts to contact Wiggan proved futile.

The matter was reported to the police, and after an investigation was done, Wiggan was located and arrested. Following his arrest, Wiggan offered to pay the complainant half of that money, but the man refused.

“Where is the man’s money?” Cole-Montague asked.

Wiggan told the judge that he had made “arrangements” with the complainant to pay over $50,000 in court for the first payment.

“Who made that arrangement independent of the judge, because court is one place in the Corporate Area,” Cole-Montague responded.

Additionally, Wiggan said his brother, who was outside the courtroom, had $42,000 to give the complainant, which was less than what was agreed. The brother was called, and the money was given to the complainant. But, Wiggan told Cole-Montague that he had already transferred $8000 to the complainant’s bank account.

“When I hear these sorts of things like ‘arrangements’ I said but the court is only one place, so there should be no other arrangements in terms of criminal matters elsewhere,” she chided.

Attempting to defend his action, Wiggan said he was not sure what happened when he attempted to book the hotel, but it wasn't his intention to not hold up his end of the bargain.

However, hearing this, the prosecutor indicated that he was not offered bail at the police station when he was arrested because he has another court matter, of the same nature. This matter will be mentioned on January 23, 2023.

Armed with this information, Cole-Montague adjourned the matter until that date, when Wiggan is expected to be sentenced.

Candice Haughton

Candice Haughton

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