By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A MAN accused of posing as a pilot and attempting to get work with various airlines faces up to seven years imprisonment if convicted of several fraud charges on which he was arraigned in Magistrate’s Court yesterday.
Giovanni Benjamin, 22, of Sandilands Village Road stood before Magistrate Derence Rolle-Davis facing five counts of attempted fraud by false pretenses, four counts of possession of forged documents, three counts of uttering forged documents, two counts of access with intent to commit an offence and a single charge of unlawful possession.
The alleged crimes stem from the outcome of a police investigation into a complaint that a man, going by the name of Rajiv Rodriquez, had approached local flight carriers for work while clad in a full pilot’s uniform and wearing a home-made airport ID, implying that he was a captain for Bahamasair.
It is first alleged that Benjamin, between August 3 and August 5, knowingly possessed and presented a false resume and Bahamas Civil Aviation pilot license “while attempting to obtain gainful employment with Bahamasair Ltd situated at the Lynden Pindling International Airport.”
It is further alleged that on September 8, he presented a resume bearing the name “Rajiv Rodriquez” to Flamingo Air in an attempted to get a job with the flight carrier.
It is also alleged that on September 17, Benjamin presented a resume to Pineapple Air Charter.
Prosecutors also claim that the accused was in possession of two Airport Authority badges, in the name of “Rajiv Rodriquez”.
They also allege that on September 21, he was found with a Gleim private pilot manual, a white official flight simulator logbook, a Bahamasair training manual and a Bahamasair seat belt.
Prosecutors contend that the items allegedly found in his possession on September 21 are “reasonably suspected of having been stolen or unlawfully obtained” and that Benjamin “could not give a satisfactory account” of how he got them.
Benjamin, for his part, pleaded not guilty to the allegations and will stand trial on October 26.
He was also charged with hacking the computers of Deandra Russell and Sherecia Bain between August 25 and September 9 in an attempt to defraud the pair of a combined $540.
He also denied these allegations and will return to court for trial on those matters on November 11.
Benjamin was granted $10,000 bail with two suretors and ordered to report to the Elizabeth Estates police station every Wednesday on/or before 6pm.
Police Sgt 603 Moss is prosecuting both matters.