Justice Shiraz Azziz has handed a three-year suspended sentence to Elvin Chitan, former employee of Columbus Communications, on Tuesday at the #5 High Court.
The forty-one-year-old Springs resident; a former chief accountant at Columbus Communications was arrested by members of the Financial Intelligence Unit following investigations into embezzlement of $472.000.00 from the company he was employed with. The offence dated back 2010- 2015.
Chitan pleaded guilty to money laundering sometime in January of this year.
Submissions to the court by both prosecutor Crisan Greenidge and attorney-at-law Richie Maitland who represented Chitan filling in for Peter David described Mr. Chitan as a man of excellent character. He co-operated with the police, has no previous conviction and plays an active role in the community and his church. He also has elderly parents and young children who are primarily dependent on him for financial support.
He also accepted responsibility for his actions and expressed profound regret to the court saying he has learned his lesson.
He apologized for his breach of trust and for not being the person he was expected to be.
The Grenada Informer briefly interviewed Maitland who explained that Chitan initially pleaded not guilty but eventually changed his plea to guilty on three counts of financial propriety while he was an employee at the company.
In addition to the three-year suspended sentence Judge Azziz ordered Chitan to do two hundred hours of community service in his area of expertise, providing training in accounting. He must also keep the peace with any failure to adhere to the conditions resulting in jail time.
According to Chitan’s attorney, he would have to repay the money involved at a rate of $5,000.00 per month. Assets in his account, which were frozen following his arrest, would be turn over to the company.