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Berbice Carpenter charged with romance scheme fraud

Charged: John Patrick Lewis

A 56-year-old carpenter was on Friday charged by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) with conspiracy to defraud.

John Patrick Lewis of Lot 34 Williamsburg Village, Corentyne Berbice, was hauled before Magistrate Leron Daly in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court and pleaded not guilty to the charge. He was granted $50,000 bail, and the matter was adjourned to September 2, 2022.

Attorney-at-Law Eucin Gomes represented the accused, while Attorney-at-Law Towanna Hardy appeared for SOCU.

According to SOCU, Lewis was the recipient of $146,500 sent by the victim, understanding that she would receive a money laundering certificate to clear her expensive package sent by her Facebook boyfriend.

He was alleged to have acted as a third party for another person who befriended the victim via Facebook.

“John Patrick Lewis is just one of the four recipients whom the victim sent money to; SOCU is currently looking for the others,” a statement said.

The victim claimed she sent the money to Lewis after she was instructed to do so by her Facebook boyfriend, who provided her with all of Patrick’s personal information.

She sent the money using a Western Union money transfer, and since then, she has never received any package, and her Facebook boyfriend has since disappeared.

Only last week, SOCU instituted similar charges against Jaffon Hinds of Lot 106 Downer Street, Grove, East Bank Demerara (EBD).

SOCU’s Head, Assistant Commissioner Fizal Karimbaksh, again calls on all Guyanese to be vigilant against package delivery and romance scams.


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