Twelve St. Thomas jurors convicted former Government Employees Retirement System Administrator Willis Todmann of six criminal charges stemming from his submitting a forged approval signature to illicitly receive a second full, six-figure salary from government pensioners. Todmann quietly looked down at the table with a somber demeanor as the verdict was read. He made no statement.
Todman was convicted of:
— Two counts of obtaining money by false pretenses; one for submitting a false memorandum with the forged signature of the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of GERS that allowed him to get an unauthorized second salary for the position of Chief Financial Officer while he was already being paid for being the Acting Administrator of GERS. And one for secretly getting Diners Club to issue him a business account card secured by GERS without GERS approval, and using it for personal purchases.
— One count of "uttering," under the V.I. forgery statute, for submitting a misleading proposed budget to the Board of Trustees. In the proposed budget which was submitted by Todman, the position of CFO was listed as vacant and to be filled when in fact, the money for the salary for that position was actually being paid to Todman.
— One count of fraud under the GERS statute for falsifying a GERS record, for the aforementioned misleading budget.
— One count of embezzlement by fiduciary, for using his position as chief financial officer and acting administrator of GERS to enrich himself.
— One count of grand larceny.
Under V.I. law, Todmann faces a minimum sentence of five years in prison for fraud under the GERS statute. The other charges have no minimum sentence. All six charges carry potential maximum sentences of 10 years for each conviction.
Through his actions, Todmann received $238,000 in illicit, stolen income in 2005 and 2006.
The investigation into Todmann’s activities was triggered in 2006 by a letter to the attorney general’s office alleging Todmann had "wrongfully" been collecting two paychecks during his tenure at GERS.
Todmann resigned in March 2007. The same day as his resignation, officials publicly acknowledged financial irregularities in the system. He was arrested in January 2008. Before this, Todmann served in the V.I. government for 24 years, with 12 of those years at GERS.
At his confirmation hearing in 2006, senators praised Todmann’s qualifications and character and voted unanimously to approve him.
Todmann has been out on bond since his arrest. A bail hearing has been scheduled for Wednesday morning. "He has substantial ties to the community and is not likely to be a flight risk," said Assistant Attorney General Denise George. Bail need not be extremely large, but some bail would be appropriate, as his conviction carries mandatory imprisonment, said George.
Sentencing is scheduled for Nov. 28, at 11 a.m.
Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to correct and clarify which specific actions underlie each charge and conviction. Todmann was convicted of "uttering" for submitting a misleading budget, not for submitting the memorandum with a forged signature requesting a second salary.