Friday 30 October, 2020

Shocker in court for woman who tried to con US Embassy

It took a few hours into the day’s court proceedings for the case involving 22-year-old Ophelia Seaton to be called up in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on Friday. During that time, she sat in the gallery with her cousin and was quite chirpy.

She even found time to laugh at an accused man who took an inordinately long time to write an email address.

But her giggles and smiles faded into numbness when her case was called up and she realised the precarious legal position she had put herself in.

Seaton is charged with two counts of forgery and two counts of uttering false documents.

She was very soft spoken in pleading guilty to all the charges.

She confirmed that she went to the United States Embassy at Liguanea in St Andrew in April and presented a consular officer with documents which stated that she had gained acceptance to the University of the West Indies (UWI).

However, when the embassy officials did their due diligence and checked with UWI administrators, they confirmed that the documents were forged and fraudulent.

Seaton was arrested soon after.

Parish Judge Vaugh Smith seemed unbothered by Seaton’s predicament.

"You have the money to pay the fines maam?"' the judge asked Seaton.

"Yes sir, the bail bond says $20,000," Seaton answered.

But in a flash, reality sunk in when the judge informed her that the amount on the bail bond had nothing to do with the sentence of the court.

Seaton’s facial expression dropped dramatically when she was told that the fines that were being applied amounted to $200,000, with an alternative of nine months in prison.

Seaton's cousin was then summoned and asked if she could assist in paying the fines.

The cousin answered in the negative.

The judge showed some mercy, however, and gave Seaton a month to come up with the money.

She was ordered fingerprinted and had her bail extended.

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