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HomeNewsArchivesJudge Kendall Releases Accused Embezzler Without Bond

Judge Kendall Releases Accused Embezzler Without Bond

June 14, 2007 — The man accused of embezzling more than a million dollars from the V.I. government was freed Thursday after spending more than a week in jail.
Former Government House Deputy Chief of Staff Alric Simmonds appeared at an arraignment in Superior Court, where he pleaded not guilty to three criminal counts.
When Simmonds appeared Thursday morning before Judge Leon Kendall, he entered a not-guilty plea on charges of embezzlement, conspiracy and conversion of government funds. The former deputy chief was arrested April 2 and again June 6, each time on separate charges.
Simmonds allegedly conspired with another individual to siphon off $230,610 worth of government funds he deposited into a bank account set up for the Bureau of Economic Research (BER), according to a representative from the V.I. Inspector General's Office.
Simmonds was a signatory on the Banco Popular account, which was intended to hold federal funds awarded to BER for a proposed universal health-care program. In April, Simmonds was also charged with funneling another $900,000 through the account, and allegedly using the money for his own personal use. (See "Bail Set for Former Turnbull Aide Accused of Embezzling Nearly $1 Million.")
But in spite of the sums he was accused of taking, Simmonds told the court he did not have the resources to hire a private lawyer and was appointed a public defender.
When taken into custody on both occasions, he was on the job at auto dealerships on St. Thomas. He was remanded to the St Thomas jail by Judge Brenda Hollar after appearing at his second advice-of-rights hearing June 7.
After the Thursday arraignment, lasting roughly 10 minutes, Kendall released Simmonds on his own recognizance.
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