Man pleads guilty to fraud charges

October 27, 2021

A St Andrew man who was scheduled to be sentenced for fraud-related charges was further remanded when he appeared in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court yesterday.

Nichalus Bryce, 29, was hauled before the courts in July for 16 counts of obtaining money by false pretence and four counts of operating an overseas job employment agency without a licence. However, he has not yet entered a plea. When he appeared before Senior Parish Judge Lori-Ann Cole-Montague yesterday, new charges were laid.

He pleaded guilty to three counts of obtaining money by false pretence. But he pleaded not guilty to three counts of operating an overseas job employment agency without a licence and another count of obtaining money by false pretence.

The allegations are that Bryce posted on social media that he would be hosting a job fair in the Corporate Area. One individual told investigators that she paid Bryce $57,400 to secure employment overseas. Another person paid a total of $45,000 in four instalments for an overseas job. Bryce has offered to repay the individuals.

"This is a letter from my aunt who operates a restaurant and she would give me a job to repay my debts, if I can get a road sentence," Bryce told the judge.

"But how can that be and you're in custody? Just the sheer number of accounts is troubling to me and I don't think the public is safe with you out," the judge replied.

The accused reasoned that should he be given freedom, he could gain employment and be engaged in a court payment plan to ensure that he repays the complainants.

However, Cole-Montague told Bryce that working is not a viable option for him now. The judge argued that while she agrees with Bryce's stance to repay, she disagreed on how compensation should take place.

"For it (repayment] to be done, for you to go on the road, you have to bring some money here or organise for that," she instructed. The matter was adjourned until December 7 for Bryce to make the necessary arrangements for compensation to be made. A fingerprint order was made and sentencing was postponed until then.

- T.T.

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