BVI News

Law student allegedly ‘doctors’ trade licence

Shekima Lettsome-Joseph (background) leaving court yesterday

Shekima Lettsome-Joseph (background) leaving court yesterday

Already facing a raft of charges including theft, Shekima Lettsome-Joseph yesterday appeared in the Magistrate’s Court with two more charges added to her rap sheet.

The latest charges are forgery and uttering forged documents.

She is now being accused of forging a BVI trade license.

The 32-year-old Hodges Creek resident was not made to plead to the new charges.

When she was brought before Senior Magistrate Tamia Richards yesterday, her attorney Leroy Jones successfully argued for bail.

She was granted $100,000 bail to be signed with two sureties. However, $20,000 cash is to be paid upfront before her release.

Lettsome-Joseph, who the court heard is a law student in the United Kingdom (UK), was also ordered to show proof of where she lives and studies in the UK.

Another condition of the bail was that she cannot change schools or her address while living abroad.

“You are not off to a good start in your [law] career,” Senior Magistrate Richards told the accused before granting bail.

In the meantime, reports are that Lettsome-Joseph owns several business in the BVI including Prestige House of Fashion, Perfection Finishing & Design, and Party World.

The court was told that on September 25, 2015 she submitted a work permit application on behalf of a butcher.

The butcher was reportedly seeking to work under a trade licence held by the accused.

The corresponding business for the said trade licence was called ‘Spinnaker’, the court heard.

Subsequent to her submitting the work permit application, a Labour Department worker told Lettsome-Joseph that he would investigate the Free Bottom premises where her ‘Spinnaker’ business was said to be located.

It is reported that, when the Labour Department worker made the scheduled visit to the site, Lettsome-Joseph was a no-show.

The court also heard that there was no such business at the location. As such, a work permit probe was launched.

During the probe, the Director of the Department of Trade was contacted and she revealed that her department had no record of a trade licence being issued for Lettsome-Joseph’s Spinnaker business.

Lettsome-Joseph this week was taken into police custody, where she reportedly confessed to ‘doctoring a trade licence’.

She reportedly explained to the police: “I took my old trade licence; I copied ‘Spinnaker’ on it; I took it to the Labour Department so that Mr Tangoman (the butcher) would get his work permit.”

Lettsome-Joseph is scheduled to return to court on March 1.

Other case similar

Meanwhile, she was arrested back in 2015 for the first set of charges in an unrelated case. Those previous charged were theft, obtaining a police officer’s property by deception, and operating a real estate agency without a trade license.


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