NCB St Ann fraud increases by US$136,000
Khadene Thomas (in black dress), who is accused of fraud, is escorted by police on January 20 when she made her first court appearance. (Photo: Akera Davis)

ST ANN'S BAY, St Ann — The sum fleeced from National Commercial Bank's St Ann's Bay branch has climbed by another US$136,000.

The court was told, Thursday, that customers checked their accounts after wealth advisor Khadene Thomas was charged with fraud, and noticed irregularities. Thomas, who was granted bail during her second court appearance, is to return to court on May 10.

When news of the fraud first broke, the sum in question was US$30,000. During Thomas' first court appearance the figure was placed at US$143,000 and the court ordered her remanded to facilitate investigation into claims that three other clients were potentially her victims. Those claims have now added the additional US$136,000 to the amount she allegedly stole, taking the total to US$279,000 (about J$42.8 million). Thomas was subsequently granted bail in the sum of $5 million.

According to Judge Larona Montague-Williams, bail was determined based on the sum of money that was allegedly stolen.

Thomas, who was employed to NCB for two-and-a-half years, reportedly forged customers' signatures on a debit instrument then debited their accounts and transferred funds to several accounts, including hers. She was charged with larceny and offences under the Cyber Crimes Act.

The conditions of her bail require her to surrender all her travel documents to the court and report to the police station nearest her home two times per week.

"Miss Thomas denies the allegations and she's eager to have her day in court," her attorney Matthew Hyatt told the Jamaica Observer.

BY AKERA DAVIS Observer writer

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