Features — 07 March 2014 — by Kareem Clarke
SATIIM’s former Finance Officer charged for embezzlement

Unconfirmed reports are that almost $250,000 was swindled; investigation took 10 months

A 40-year old villager of Forest Home Village, who was formerly employed as the finance officer for the Sarstoon Temash Institute for Indigenous Management (SATIIM), located in southern Belize, was today charged for a portion of funds that were reportedly embezzled from the organization over a 15-month period.

Between January 1, 2012 and March 31, 2013, David Duncan – who held the post of administrator and finance officer at SATIIM – allegedly forged, deposited and cashed several cheques belonging to the environmental organization, which amounted to approximately $110,000.

Some 10 months ago, in May of 2013, the report was initially made by SATIIM’s Executive Director, Greg Ch’oc.

At the time, Ch’oc was reluctant to comment on the matter because he said that it was in the hands of police, who were doing their pertinent investigations.

Those investigations apparently took months to complete, and today police reported that they have finally charged Duncan with 9 counts of theft for 9 cheques in reference to the May 2013 report made by Gregory Ch’oc.

The former finance officer was arraigned in the Punta Gorda Magistrate’s Court yesterday, where he pleaded not guilty to the offences and was granted bail of $10,000.

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