By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
FORMER employees of the Bahamas National Festival Commission yesterday denied stealing more than $31,000 from those responsible for organising the inaugural Junkanoo Carnival event.
Benjamin Lightbourne, 25, and Kendyce Ferguson, 33, appeared before Magistrate Guilimina Archer facing two counts of stealing by reason of employment concerning purported thefts from the BNFC on March 16 and March 23 of this year.
Lightbourne and Ferguson both elected to be tried in Magistrate’s Court. They pleaded not guilty to the offences.
It is alleged that they, on March 16, stole $24,404.43 belonging to the BNFC situated at Collins Avenue, which they had respective access to at the time as a messenger and an accountant.
They are further accused of stealing $6,852 exactly one week later.
The total amount – $31,256.43 – was reportedly stolen through cheques that were drawn on the name of one of the employees who cashed them at a local bank.
Police prosecutor Sgt Timothy Saunders offered no objection to bail after the charges and particulars were read to the accused.
Magistrate Archer told them that they will stand trial before her on September 29.
In the interim, they were each granted $15,000 bail with two suretors.
A person tried and convicted of stealing in Magistrate’s Court can face a fine and/or up to five years imprisonment. The punishment is doubled if tried and convicted in the Supreme Court.