78.5 F
Charlotte Amalie
Thursday, February 22, 2024
HomeNewsArchivesJury Finds Moolenaar Guilty on All Counts

Jury Finds Moolenaar Guilty on All Counts

Aug. 26, 2004 – After listening to closing arguments Thursday and deliberating for slightly over two hours, a District Court jury found Deputy Health Commissioner Lucien A. Moolenaar II guilty of falsely obtaining $102,497.89 from the V.I. government, converting federal funds for personal use, and lying to government officials.
Moolenaar, a dentist who served for a time as acting Health commissioner, was accused of having kept 63 erroneous paychecks between 1995 and 2000 and with having converted $40,673.35 in federal funds for personal use.
"The evidence proves without a reasonable doubt that Dr. Moolenaar knew the money was coming in; he kept it and spent it for his own personal use," prosecuting attorney Nicholas Marsh said in his closing arguments.
Marsh said that the sheer value of the money, the pay stubs and the bankruptcy records filled by Moolenaar reflecting the additional income were proof that Moolenaar was aware of the overpayments. Marsh added that any "reasonable" persons would have noticed an increase in their pay and would look at their pay stubs.
Moolenaar testified on Wednesday that he had not been aware of the overpayments until he was notified by government authorities. He further stated that he did not handle his own finances, but left that to his wife. (See "Moolenaar, Wife Say She Handled His Finances".)
In his closing arguments, defense attorney Arturo Watlington Jr. told the jury, "We believe if you look at the facts, you will find that no crime occurred."
Watlington said that even with three sources of income — as deputy commissioner, landlord and dentist in private practice — Moolenaar had to seek bankruptcy protection from 1994 to 1997 because of poor money management. So it was not "unusual" that he would tell his wife to handle his finances, Watlington said.
Watlington also told the jury that it was not "unusual" for a man who would lose a $1,626.85 check for almost two years not to look at his checks and his pay stubs.
The overpayments to Moolenaar came about after Moolenaar in 1995 came upon two uncashed paychecks issued in 1992, each for $1,626.85. Since the checks were too old to be cashed, the Finance Department issued new ones to take their place. But from then on, it kept issuing similar checks every other pay period.
A sentencing date has not been set for Moolenaar. He remains free on a previously posted $10,000 unsecured bond with restrictions on his travel.

Back Talk

Share your reaction to this news with other Source readers. Please include headline, your name, and the city and state/country or island where you reside.

Publisher's note : Like the St. John Source now? Find out how you can love us twice as much — and show your support for the islands' free and independent news voice … click here.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Keeping our community informed is our top priority.
If you have a news tip to share, please call or text us at 340-228-8784.

Support local + independent journalism in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Unlike many news organizations, we haven't put up a paywall – we want to keep our journalism as accessible as we can. Our independent journalism costs time, money and hard work to keep you informed, but we do it because we believe that it matters. We know that informed communities are empowered ones. If you appreciate our reporting and want to help make our future more secure, please consider donating.

UPCOMING EVENTS