Con man slapped with fraud, larceny charges; breaks down in tears during Court appearance

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: Mohammed Ali being taken to the holding area as some of his victims watch on. [iNews' Photo]
: Mohammed Ali being taken to the holding area as some of his victims watch on. [iNews’ Photo]
[www.inewsguyana.com] – Less than two months after being released from prison, a 28-year-old Security Guard was slapped with several simple larceny and fraudulent conversion charges and remanded to prison by City Magistrate Geeta Chandan-Edmond on Friday, January 23.

Mohammed Ali of Lot 121 Second Street, Alberttown, Georgetown pleaded guilty to all the charges read to him. It is alleged that on January 12 at Woolford Avenue, Georgetown he stole Brandy Hazel’s Samsung Galaxy S4 valued $140,000 and Rehanna Abel’s $60,000 Samsung Tablet.

It is further alleged that on January 14 at Charlotte Street, Georgetown Nalini Rambarack entrusted Ali with her $30,000 cellular phone to make a call and return it, but he fraudulently converted it to his own use and benefit.

The Court also heard that the 28-year-old stole one gold chain valued $50,000 as well as $40,000 cash from Raywattie Outar on January 17 at the Guyana Post Office Corporation (GPOC) Main Branch on Robb Street.

It was further alleged that while Ali was at GPOC that day, Latanie Ross entrusted him with her $30,000 BLU cellular phone to make a call and return it, but he fraudulently converted it to his own use and benefit.

Police Prosecutor Renetta Bentham told the Court that Hazel and Abel are Tutorial High School students and about 10:30 hours on January 12, Ali approached them and introduced himself as the new Arts stream teacher.

He asked them for their gadgets and they handed them over. The “teacher” told the students that he was heading to the Stella Maris Primary School and would return with the items, but he never did. The matter was reported.

Bentham also explained that on January 14 about 15:20 hours, Rambarack was at the Georgetown High Court when Ali approached her and asked her to borrow her phone to make a call. After she gave it to him, the 28-year-old strolled out the court’s northern gate.

He never returned but the matter was reported to the police. The Court also heard that on January 17 about 09:45 hours Ross and Outar were conducting business at GPOC, when the defendant approached Outar and told her that he was a staff of the entity and that he could assist her.

The Prosecutor said that he took her into the corridor and persuaded her to hand over the articles to him. According to Bentham, Ali told the woman that she cannot go into the office to see the “Big One” with her cellular phone and jewellery.

After receiving the articles, he then took her into an office and told her to wait there and he slipped away. At the same place Ali then met Ross and asked her to borrow her phone to make a call. After she handed over the device, he went away.

It was reported that Ali attempted to hoodwink a bunch of Queen’s College first form students but his plot was cut short after suspicious students reported the matter to teachers and parents.

The Prosecutor said on Thursday (January 22), acting on information received the defendant was arrested. The 28-year-old was placed on an identification parade where he was positively pointed out by all the victims.

Ali asked the Magistrate to be merciful. He said he is the breadwinner of his family and after leaving jail last November, he has been struggling to land jobs.

The 28-year-old told the Magistrate that he had been jailed for five years on a damage to property charge and added “Sometimes people don’t know what people go through. I had no choice…I work $10,000 a week and on Tuesday I had $860 in my pockets and two bottles of water in my fridge.”

He said employers are reluctant to hire him because of his criminal record. Ali broke down in tears and apologised to all the victims who were in court.

The Magistrate deferred sentencing and ordered that a probation report be prepared for him.

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