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HomeNewsArchivesLITTLE SWITZERLAND EMBEZZLING TRIAL ON FOR MAY

LITTLE SWITZERLAND EMBEZZLING TRIAL ON FOR MAY

The trial of two St. Thomas women charged in the embezzlement of $1.7 million from Little Switzerland is scheduled to get under way in Territorial Court on May 30 with jury selection and opening arguments. Judge Ishmael Meyers will preside over the trial, which is expected to take 10 days.
The case has been delayed repeatedly over the last two years on various technicalities filed by attorneys for the defendants, Lorraine Quetel and Lydia Magras, who also goes by her married name, Lydia Magras-Greaux.
Quetel is charged with having embezzled money from Little Switzerland and laundering through Magras' Bon Voyage Travel agency in 1998. Quetel was employed at Little Switzerland, where she maintained an account at Scotia Bank for credit card transactions until the funds could be transferred to the store's Chase Manhattan Bank account. Magras is charged with compounding the crime of embezzlement, according to prosecutors and court documents.
Prosecutors charge that Quetel wrote more than 20 checks, ranging from $25,000 to $90,000 and totaling $1.3 million, from Little Switzerland to Bon Voyage Travel. And that Quetel, a signatory on the travel agency's account, later wrote and signed checks to herself. Quetel also is alleged to have written checks to herself totaling $395,000 from the Little Switzerland account and to have deposited them into accounts at Citibank and Banco Popular that she jointly held with her husband.
Little Switzerland learned through a yearend audit that the funds were missing, according to statements made to investigators by principals of L.S. Holding Co., the store's parent company.
Meyers is the third judge assigned to preside over the case. It initially went to Judge Soraya Diase, who recused herself when the defense alleged a business relationship between her husband, Gordon Coffelt, and Bon Voyage Travel. Judge Ive A. Swan was then assigned the case, but he recused himself after a separate civil case brought by Little Switzerland against the two women was also assigned to him. Assistant Attorney General Douglas Sprotte is expected to prosecute the embezzlement case for the government.

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The trial of two St. Thomas women charged in the embezzlement of $1.7 million from Little Switzerland is scheduled to get under way in Territorial Court on May 30 with jury selection and opening arguments. Judge Ishmael Meyers will preside over the trial, which is expected to take 10 days.
The case has been delayed repeatedly over the last two years on various technicalities filed by attorneys for the defendants, Lorraine Quetel and Lydia Magras, who also goes by her married name, Lydia Magras-Greaux.
Quetel is charged with having embezzled money from Little Switzerland and laundering through Magras' Bon Voyage Travel agency in 1998. Quetel was employed at Little Switzerland, where she maintained an account at Scotia Bank for credit card transactions until the funds could be transferred to the store's Chase Manhattan Bank account. Magras is charged with compounding the crime of embezzlement, according to prosecutors and court documents.
Prosecutors charge that Quetel wrote more than 20 checks, ranging from $25,000 to $90,000 and totaling $1.3 million, from Little Switzerland to Bon Voyage Travel. And that Quetel, a signatory on the travel agency's account, later wrote and signed checks to herself. Quetel also is alleged to have written checks to herself totaling $395,000 from the Little Switzerland account and to have deposited them into accounts at Citibank and Banco Popular that she jointly held with her husband.
Little Switzerland learned through a yearend audit that the funds were missing, according to statements made to investigators by principals of L.S. Holding Co., the store's parent company.
Meyers is the third judge assigned to preside over the case. It initially went to Judge Soraya Diase, who recused herself when the defense alleged a business relationship between her husband, Gordon Coffelt, and Bon Voyage Travel. Judge Ive A. Swan was then assigned the case, but he recused himself after a separate civil case brought by Little Switzerland against the two women was also assigned to him. Assistant Attorney General Douglas Sprotte is expected to prosecute the embezzlement case for the government.