Student fined for lying to get visa

November 17, 2015

A student who lied to the United States embassy about being employed was fined $60,000 when she appeared in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court on Friday.

Deon McDonald, 18, of Linstead, St Catherine, pleaded guilty, with explanation, to the charges of forgery and uttering a forged document.

Allegations are that, on September 29, the accused attended an interview at the US embassy to get a non-immigrant visa. She tendered a forged job letter, stating she was employed to Tax Administration of Jamaica.

In court, when asked to explain her illegal actions, McDonald said the man who assisted her with the application for her visa advised her that she would not be granted the visa if she told them she was a student.




"He asked me if I was ever employed before, and I told him I used to work at the Inland Revenue Department. He said I should pay him $10,000 to get someone to write a letter saying I was still employed to the company," McDonald said.

McDonald further added that she knew her actions were wrong but begged the judge to have leniency on her because it was her first offence, and she did it because her mother was sick and in need of help.

Senior RM Judith Pusey said, "The road to hell is paved with good intentions," while handing down her judgement of $40,000 or six months for forgery, and $20,000 or six months for uttering forged documents.

- S.W.

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