Kostadin Karchav pictured at an earlier court appearance. Photo: Lamech Johnson/Tribune Staff
By LAMECH JOHNSON
Tribune Staff Reporter
A BULGARIAN man who was convicted by a jury yesterday of money laundering could face up to 20 years in jail when he returns to the Supreme Court for sentencing on Friday.
Kostadin Karchav, 39, stood trial before Justice Bernard Turner on three counts of money laundering concerning nearly $51,000 found in his Royal Bank of Canada account and the purchase of a Suzuki Swift and an iPhone 6 from the proceeds of crime.
The Crown alleged that Karchav gave an oral confession to the crimes prior to a record of interview that was done in the presence of his then lawyer Roger Gomez II.
Sergeant Donovan Martin of the Central Detective Unit last week testified of a conversation with Karchav under caution in the presence of Inspector Deborah Thompson on February 15, 2015.
Karchav allegedly told police he had been in the country since 2014 and was a part of a credit card group in Bulgaria. It was alleged that he told officers he used his time in the Bahamas to obtain information about the models of the ATM machines he observed. His accomplices replied in kind with information on credit and debit cards, which he uploaded to gift cards he had brought with him when he travelled to the Bahamas.
He allegedly told Sgt Martin that all of the funds seized by police during his arrest were proceeds from the machines, some of which were deposited to his RBC account. He also stated that he purchased a 2005 Suzuki Swift with some of the funds obtained from the bank.
A record of interview was held following this conversation later on that afternoon.
Karchav, who elected to remain silent to allegations, called Mr Gomez II as a witness yesterday morning where the latter confirmed to defence attorney Stanley Rolle that he sat in on a record of interview, but it was not on Sunday, February 15, 2015.
Crown prosecutor Ambrose Armbrister asked the lawyer if Karchav had made any complaints when he went to see him. Mr Gomez said his then client’s complaint only concerned the cell and food.
The jury, following Justice Turner’s summation of the brief case, deliberated for two hours before returning 7-2 guilty verdicts on money laundering with respect to the funds found in the RBC account and the purchase of the Suzuki Swift.
The jury returned a unanimous not guilty verdict on the count concerning the cell phone, of which Justice Turner said he was discharged.
Karchav was told that he would face sentencing on April 15 at 2pm.