Con man taught expensive lesson
A conman has been ordered to make full restitution after he tricked a woman out of her Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone, valued at nearly $45,000, and $28,000.
Jermaine Calame pleaded guilty to the charges of larceny by trick and obtaining money by trick when he appeared in the St Andrew Parish Court yesterday.
Calame had claimed he would give the woman a brand new Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge in exchange for her smartphone. However, he gave her a defective Chinese version of the high-end phone.
A Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge values about $80,000.
"My client told her that it was a Samsung Galaxy S7, but it was the Chinese version. She was tricked unintentionally" his lawyer said in court yesterday.
However, the apologies could not quell the fuming complainant. She told the court that Calame advertised the phone on Facebook. She said that when she made enquiries about how much it would cost, Calame said that she could give him her smartphone and $28,000 in exchange for the high-end phone.
Calame and the unsuspecting woman subsequently met and exchanged the devices. However, when the complainant reached home and tried to activate the phone, it would not work. She then tried to contact Calame on Facebook but found that he blocked her.
The woman then created a fake Facebook profile and accessed Calame's page where she saw him advertising a tablet for sale. She pretended to be interested in the item and arranged a meeting in Half-Way Tree, St Andrew. It was then that she pointed him out to the police and he was arrested.
In court, Calame tried to return the complainant's original phone, but she indicated that she did not want it because she was unsure if he tampered with it during the time he had it. The judge agreed with the sentiments and ordered that Calame pays her US$S350 (approximately J$44,876) for it.
The judge also ordered that he repays her $28,000, of which he handed over $10,000 on Friday. He was remanded in custody. Calame is to pay the remainder of the money on March 7.