By NICO SCAVELLA
Tribune Staff Reporter
A MINISTRY of Finance employee was arraigned on Friday for several additional fraud related charges stemming from previous allegations that he defrauded the ministry of over half a million dollars within a five-month period.
James Anwar Johnson stood before Magistrate Samuel McKinney facing two counts each of falsification of accounts and stealing by reason of employment for his alleged actions between November 25, 2016 and April 5, 2017.
It is alleged that on both November 25, 2016 and April 5, 2017, while serving as an accounts clerk at the MOF, Johnson falsified the payment records of VMMS Business Service, purporting to show that it was entitled to receive two separate payments of of $37,500 and $69,996 respectively.
It is further alleged that on both November 25, 2016 and April 5, 2017, Johnson stole, by reason of his employment, $37,500 and $69,996, the property of the Bahamas government.
Johnson pleaded not guilty to all of the charges.
Given the nature of the charges, Magistrate McKinney could not consider bail and adjourned the matter to Monday, November 20, for a status hearing before the chief magistrate.
Johnson, who is currently on bail for his initial arraignment in August over 22 other fraud related charges, was remanded to the Bahamas Department of Correctional Services until that time.
He has the right to apply to the Supreme Court for bail consequent to Friday's arraignment.
In August, Johnson was arraigned over allegations that between December 15, 2016 to April 5, 2016, he falsified the payments records of VMMS Business Service, purporting to show that it was entitled to receive payments totaling $530,377.67.
He was also accused of stealing a total of $445,996.42 in cash from the ministry between December 21, 2016 and March 31, 2017, which he had access to by virtue of his employment.
He also faced one count of attempted stealing by reason of employment for allegedly attempting to steal $41,115 from the ministry on April 5, 2017.