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Thursday, August 18, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesV.I. Government to Sell Property of Former Turnbull Aide

V.I. Government to Sell Property of Former Turnbull Aide

Now that he’s begun serving out his eight-year jail sentence, former government aide Alric Simmonds is set to begin repaying some of the $1.2 million he siphoned off from a local government account for his own personal use.
A Justice Department press release announced Tuesday that Simmonds’ assets — including his Palm Gardens condo in Estate Wintberg — will be publicly sold early Wednesday morning. The condo and its contents — some of which will be offered at fixed prices set by the attorney general — will be sold at 10 a.m., with the unsold items going up for auction at 11 a.m., according to the release.
"The … property is a top-level floor condominium overlooked Mahogany Run Golf Course with two bedrooms, one loft, two bathrooms and fully furnished kitchen with granite counter tops and custom made mahogany cabinets," the release said. "The more than 100 items for sale include mahogany wood furniture, crystal decanters, crystal figurines, various art work, sculptures, area rugs, a flat screen television, surround sound system and other electronics."
Proceeds from the sale will go toward related fees and expenses, including advertising and court costs, along with an existing mortgage lien from Banco Popular. The remaining funds will be turned over to the Justice Department to cover the cost of its investigation into Simmonds’ criminal activity.
Neither Simmonds nor anyone "acting in concert with him or on his behalf" can buy the property, the release said. Ten percent of the condo’s purchase price has to be paid by certified or bank check at the time of the sale, while the balance has to be paid off within 30 days. Items bought from the sale have to be paid for in cash and removed from the condo by 5 p.m. Wednesday.
Simmonds was sentenced to eight years in prison in June 2008 — almost a year after accepting a plea deal for eight counts of embezzlement, one count of conversion and two counts of grand larceny. At the time of his sentencing, V.I. Superior Court Judge James S. Carroll III — who said that Simmonds’ property would be sold to cover his restitution payments — said the government will also get 75 percent of Simmonds’ retirement checks while he’s in jail and 25 percent of the checks after he gets out.
Simmonds was first arrested in April 2007 and charged with 94 counts of embezzlement, grand larceny and conversion of government funds for checks he wrote against an account originally set to hold funds awarded to the Bureau of Economic Research (BER) for the universal health-care program.
At the time, agents from the V.I. Inspector General’s Office said that Simmonds, over a period of four years, used the account as means to divert other government funds, writing more than 200 checks made payable to himself or to cash.
He was arrested again a few months later, this time on charges that he conspired with another individual to siphon off another $230,000 worth of government funds deposited into the same BER account.
By the end of the government’s investigation, 305 checks were uncovered, and Simmonds had three cases pending against him. After Simmonds accepted the open plea agreement from the government, the cases were consolidated, but the charges against Simmonds still hinged on 145 checks written to purchase lottery tickets from a local dealer and items for his home such as granite countertops and mahogany cabinets.
Simmonds is currently serving out his jail sentence at the Golden Grove Correctional Facility on St. Croix.

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