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Accused ‘Offered To Pay Back’ Money From Cob

Chimeka Gibbs at a previous court appearance.
Photo: Tim Clarke/Tribune Staff

Chimeka Gibbs at a previous court appearance. Photo: Tim Clarke/Tribune Staff

By NICO SCAVELLA

Tribune Staff Reporter

nscavella@tribunemedia.net

SUPREME Court jurors heard yesterday how former College of The Bahamas employee Chimeka Gibbs told officials, when confronted about allegations of theft, that she was willing to return some of the money she is accused of stealing from the institution.

Detective Sergeant Dwayne Delancy, when he took the witness stand, said Gibbs admitted to receiving money from the college on two occasions during her initial arrest in late 2015.

According to Det Sgt Delancey, Gibbs also stated, before being arrested, that she had previously mentioned the matter to COB officials, and was willing to return the funds by using $20,000 she had in an account at Commonwealth Bank.

Det Sgt Delancey also said that when he later approached Gibbs on allegations that she took money from COB on more than two occasions, Gibbs said she had been doing it since 2011.

The court also heard yesterday that Gibbs’ collective salary deductions and consequent net pay fluctuated on a monthly basis throughout portions of 2008.

Renee Mayers, associate vice-president of human resources at COB, said while Gibbs made a monthly net salary of $2,315.25 in March 2008, that figure, along with her salary deductions would either increase or decrease in the following months.

According to Ms Mayers, Gibbs’ gross salary was affected by deductions from three banking institutions – Commonwealth Bank, CIBC FirstCaribbean and Scotiabank.

From March to June of that year, Gibbs’ net pay was pegged at $2,315.25.

However, in the months subsequent to March, both Gibbs’ net pay and her salary deductions would decrease and/or increase. For example, in July, her net salary increased to $2,572.77 before decreasing to $2,110.52 in August.

In one instance, Gibbs’ net salary in November of 2008 was just $985.25.

According to Ms Mayers, Gibbs’ net pay for March to December of 2008 was $25,972.59.

Meanwhile, Indira Collie, Scotiabank’s senior manager for service and support, testified how Gibbs received $40,000 extra in COB payroll deposits between March and December of 2014, and another $40,000 between January to October of 2015.

Gibbs is on trial before Justice Cheryl Grant-Thompson charged with stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars between March 2008 and October 2015 while serving as an employee at COB.

She is facing eight counts of stealing by reason of employment and 16 counts of falsification of accounts.

It is alleged that Gibbs stole over $500,000 from COB by reason of her employment at the institution. It is also alleged she falsified numerous COB direct deposit files, the result of which purported to show she was entitled to over $200,000 in salary payments.

According to court documents, Gibbs served as both a senior clerk and a human resources assistant at the college. She was arraigned in June 2016. COB transitioned into a university later that year.

Roger Gomez Jr represents Gibbs while Al-Leecia Delancey and Antania Rolle-Taylor represent the Crown.

The trial continues.

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