Uncategorized — 08 November 2013 — by Albert J. Ciego
Michael Coye, Sr., dies 5 days after release from prison

The businessman, a diabetic, reportedly died from a heart attack

Michael Coye, Sr., 66, of Johnson Street in Belize City, who along with his daughter Melonie was sentenced to three years in prison after being convicted of money laundering, was granted bail on Thursday last week after spending 15 months of a 36-month prison sentence in jail. Within five days of his release, however, Coye, a diabetic, died of a massive heart attack at the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) at about 10:30 Tuesday night, while surrounded by his family.

Michael Coye, Jr., Coye’s son, told Amandala that his father had begun to complain of not being able to breath properly sometime about 8:30 Tuesday night. He was then taken to the KHMH, where his discomforts were eased.

Coye then called his wife and told her to hug him, and after hugging her, told her to pray for him, and that he was in good hands, related his son, Michael. He then died.

Doctors rushed to try to resuscitate him, but the huge efforts to bring him back were fruitless.

When Coye was released from jail on Thursday, he went home with a running nose, but nothing was thought of it. Initially, he had been up and about and had not been complaining of any pain. Coye, a diabetic, had undergone a surgery, and on Monday, he went to the hospital, where he received dressing as usual, and went home.

His son said that on Tuesday, they went with him to the Social Security office on Princess Margaret Drive, and that was when he began to tremble and complained that he was cold.

After concluding their business, they went home, Michael, Jr., said.

Coye later went to bed, but began complaining that he couldn’t breathe, and needed to go to the doctor.

Michael Coye, Sr., is survived by his wife, his daughter Melonie, and his son, Michael, Jr.

Court records are that on December 31, 2008, police searched Coye’s house and discovered a hidden stash of cash, which they alleged was the proceeds of a money laundering scheme operated by the Coyes through their business, Money Exchange International Limited. A total of $1,557,789 was discovered in two suitcases in Michael Coye’s home, at Johnson Street.

Coye and his daughter, Melonie, were arrested and charged with money laundering, and remanded to the Belize Central Prison. In August last year, they were found guilty of money laundering. Michael Coye was given a 3-year jail sentence and ordered to pay $25,000. His attorney, Arthur Saldivar, had been trying to free him, citing age and his diabetic condition.

On Thursday last week, Coye was released by the Court of Appeal, which granted him bail of $10,000, with the condition that he must report to the Racoon Street Police Station every Monday between 9 a.m. and midday. He was slated to return to the Court of Appeal for the February 2014 session, when his appeal case would have been heard.

His daughter, Melonie, has also been granted bail since his passing.

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