Airline boss remanded on charges of criminal deception
The Chief Executive Officer of Phoenix Airways appeared in the District ‘A’ Traffic Court on Saturday on six charges of criminal deception.
Neville Chester Gumbs of South District, St George was not required to plead to the indictable charges before Magistrate Graveney Bannister.
The 27-year-old also faces an additional charge of evading liability, in that he intended to permanently default either in part or in whole, by dishonestly inducing Denise Reed to wait for $5 148 owed for accommodation at a studio apartment at Club Rockley, Christ Church.
The criminal deception charges allegedly relate to Gumbs dishonestly obtaining a total of $57 450 from the Bank of Nova Scotia by way of National Bank Limited cheques, which were then made payable to the airline for the purchase of EC currency, with the intention of permanently depriving the Bank by deception.
The alleged offences occurred between January 30 and February 16 this year.
According to its Facebook page, the St Kitts based airline began operations last July but, by August, had experienced problems with bookings and was forced to scale down its services.
Prosecutor, acting Station Sergeant Peter Barrow objected to bail for the accused on the grounds that the accusations were serious and that if granted bai, further allegations might arise.
Barrow claimed some measure of complexity and deception had been used in the commission of the offences. He also raised the possibility of Gumbs absconding, since he has dual citizenship and holds a British passport and an Anguillan passport.
Magistrate Bannister offered $100 000 bail and remanded Gumbs until Tuesday. Once two suitable sureties are found and the accused man hands over his British passport, he is expected to be released on bail then.
Attorney-at-law Wilfred Abrahams, who appeared on the airline CEO’s behalf, told the court that his client has a business to run and remanding Gumbs would handicap his business.
He noted the accused had been in custody for the past four days and suggested that bail could be granted with reporting conditions.