Berbice woman granted $ 680,000 bail for duping sailors

Magistrate Renita Singh on Wednesday bailed Simon Fortune $ 680,000 when he appeared before her in New Amsterdam Magistrates Court slapped with 17 charges of fraud.

Fortune, of Welfare Street, Canefield, Canje, was taken to Court after several sailors reported she was tricked into paying hundreds of thousands of dollars to take part in a fake oil and gas certification course.

The accusation states that between December 2019 and March 2020, Fortune obtained the $ 1.9 million amount through 17 people with a promise to provide training and issue sailor certificates.

Accused: Simon Fortune

She pled not guilty to all the charges.

Law attorney Ryan Crawford who represented Fortune told the Court that his client does not present as a risk and has been in operation for over five years. She added that she also had all the relevant approvals from the right authorities and that the payments were without merit.

She submitted that Fortune would have trained over 200 people through her agency and provided them with the relevant certification and employment.

Addressing the court on the substantive issue of the certificates, given to the plaintiffs, is false, Crawford said they are being recalled and will be given a new set.

“All you need to do is issue certificates from Panama. We will show the Court that Miss Fortune is not guilty of all these allegations and we ask that Miss Fortune be placed on reasonable bail so that we can convict the case, ”he said in his bail application.

Some of the participants affected

Attorney Crawford also informed the Court that the relevant certificates may be available during the proceedings.

Inspector of Police Prosecutor Althea Solomon noted that while the prosecution does not object to bail, the prosecution asks the accused to report to the Central Police Station, New Amsterdam.

Fortune was given $ 40,000 bail for each of the 17 charges along with the conditions that she present her passport with the Police and report to New Amsterdam Police Station every Friday.

The issue arises again on January 26 for case management.