Fake customs agent swindles victims out of $15m – Jamaica
A Corporate Area man who swindled unsuspecting persons out of $15 million by pretending to be employed to the Jamaica Customs Agency and Kingston Wharves was remanded in custody when he appeared in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court yesterday.
Renford Soares pleaded guilty to two counts of obtaining money by false pretence and 15 counts of fraudulent conversion. He also pleaded guilty to absconding bail. The court heard that between 2017 and 2021, multiple complainants handed monies to Soares to purchase motor vehicles. In one instance, between January 25 and February 1, 2019, Soares received $915,000 from a complainant. It is further reported that in August 2019, Soares obtained $700,000 from another complainant.
After he was arraigned, Senior Parish Judge Lori-Ann Cole-Montague indicated that she was considering having Soares repay the monies to the victims. However, Soares’ attorney, Orville Morgan, indicated that restitution is an unlikely proposition.
The judge was not pleased and told the attorney that she will afford his client the opportunity to try and make restitution, as the illicitly obtained sum is quite large. But Morgan maintained that it would be difficult for repayment to be made, given the sum, and said that Soares is ready to be sentenced.
“If he does not [do restitution], I am giving you more than the sentence indication. I will send you to prison and I will make an order for restitution on each count pursuant to the Criminal Justice Administration Act. The alternative if you don’t pay that money, you will serve time, and I am going to order that the time runs consecutively,” Cole-Montague outlined.
Fake customs agent cons victims out of $15m Jamaica Star Online