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The defendant, Tasheca Bacchus, seen at right in an undated photo in Kingstown, uses a towel, right, to hide her face as she leaves the Kingstown Magistrate's Court on Monday, March 4, 2024.
The defendant, Tasheca Bacchus, seen at right in an undated photo in Kingstown, uses a towel, right, to hide her face as she leaves the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court on Monday, March 4, 2024.
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A 26-year-old self-employed businesswoman has been ordered to repay the three people she deceived using Facebook.

Further, Tasheca Bacchus has been bonded to keep the peace for a year on each of the three charges to which she pleaded guilty today (Monday).

Bacchus appeared at the Kingstown Magistrate’s Court where she pleaded guilty to charges that on Jan. 18, at Kingstown, by deception, she dishonestly obtained EC$100 from Yasminique Charles, of Spring Village, with the intention of permanently depriving Charles of it.

She committed that same offence on Jan. 11, in the sum of EC$200 against Clyde Gurley, 44, of Calder, and also against Erica Williams, of Lowmans Leeward, in the sum of EC$75.

Prosecutor acting Corporal of Police Corlene Samuel told the court that on Jan. 4, Vickie Haywood, of Buccament, was browsing Facebook when she came across the “Kidz World” Facebook page.

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The page had an advertisement for people to help out with deliveries.

Haywood, who was unemployed at the time, reached out to the page via Facebook Messenger and expressed her interest in employment.

Bacchus responded to Haywood, presenting herself as “Janice Timm” and claiming to be the owner of the business.

She also employed Haywood.

Bacchus solicited the public in the name of the page and attracted 13 clients.

The proposed payment was for clients to make a down payment of 50% or 75% respectively and pay the remainder in three weeks when they received the items.

Bacchus arranged for Haywood to meet with all clients in Kingstown to collect payments on her behalf.

Haywood did so on a number of occasions and issued the clients with receipts after collecting their payments.

Gurley made a down payment of EC$200 for two children’s sneakers and a pair of slippers, costing EC$250.

Williams made a down payment of EC$75 on two children’s slippers and one adult slippers, costing EC$140.

Charles made a down payment of $100 on two children’s sneakers, which cost EC$200.

Bacchus would arrange with Haywood, purporting to be the owner and advising that someone would collect the payments from her.

This was done on three occasions: once outside Coreas Mini Mart on Lower Bay Street, Kingstown; another time outside Randy’s Supermarket located on the same street; and at a dental clinic located on the compound of Massy Stores at Stoney Ground.

When receiving the money from Haywood, the defendant gave her the false name “Rhea”.

After several weeks had passed and clients were complaining about not receiving their items, Haywood got suspicious and reached out to the page, which stated that there was a delay and they would inform the clients of it.

About a week later, Haywood was still receiving complaints from clients as they were yet to receive their goods and suggested to the page that she would refund everyone.

The page agreed to refund everyone and sent Haywood several pictures of more shoes from different clients and told her that she should collect monies from these people in order to refund the clients from before.

Haywood found this to be suspicious and reported the matter to the Criminal Investigation Department.

PC 105 Castello recorded a statement from Haywood and launched an investigation.

Haywood arranged with the page and indicated to it that she had received payments and asked that they be collected.

She arranged with the page to meet at Jax Enterprises, Kingstown on Friday, March 1 about 9 a.m.

Bacchus, who had collected the three previous payments, arrived around 1:50 p.m. to collect the payments. 

The police were notified, went to the location and arrested the defendant on suspicion for the offence of deception.

Castello interviewed Bacchus twice in the presence of justices of the peace Kenneth John and Errol Hazell.

During the first interview she volunteered a written statement but said in the second interview that the account in the first was a lie.

In the second interview, Bacchus admitted that she was the administrator of the page “Kidz World” and two other pages — “Amore Beauty Collections” and “Shop and Smile”.

She said she would make arrangements with clients and then with Haywood to collect the money and hand it over to her.

The prosecutor told the court that the police are still investigating the matter.

In mitigation, Bacchus told the court, “It was not intended. I was going to refund the customers on March the 1st.”

She said that she told the customers that she was going to refund them.

Her response to a question from Senior Magistrate Colin John about whether she had ordered the items was not clear in the public gallery of the court.

The magistrate noted that Bacchus had said that she was going to refund the people on March 1. He asked her if she had the money to refund them now.

“I have to go to MoneyGram,” Bacchus told the court.

“So, you are going to pay back the money today?” John said.

“Not all,” Bacchus responded.

She said she would be able to repay the money at the end of the month or in two weeks.

In handing down his sentence, John said he had considered Bacchus’ guilty plea, the facts as presented, her explanation and the fact that she had no previous convictions.

He ordered that she repay each of her victims in the stated sum.

On each of the counts ,the magistrate also bonded Bacchus in the sum of 500 for six months. If she breaches the bond, she must pay the sum forthwith or go to prison for three months.