A judge of the Criminal Court “C” at the Temple of Justice in Monrovia has sentenced Wesley Jlue a finance officer at the National Drugs Service to five years imprisonment for stealing over US 179,000 and LD958, 247.80 from the entity’s coffers.
Judge Kabba said in addition to his sentence, Jlue should pay over US$300,000 and over one million Liberian dollars as restitution.
In his ruling Friday, January 9, 2015 Judge Kabah said the sentence takes immediate effect.
Jlue sentencing was pronounce just after the judge dismissed his motion for new trial in challenge to jurors’ unanimous guilty verdict on charges of theft of property and forgery.
Jlue’s counsels have, however, announced an appeal before the full bench of the Supreme Court of Liberia, sitting in its March Term 2015.
Jlue was indicted on multiple charges of forgery and alleged theft of US$179,283.06 and more than L$958,247.80 from the NDS between November 2012 and March 2014 while working as Finance Officer.
He allegedly operated multiple accounts at the First International Bank or FIB outside the prescription of the bylaws of the NDS.
The court found that he was the only signatory to the FIB accounts, and made checks drawn from the accounts payable to him or people in proximity to him but are not employees of the NDS.
The court said there was no similarity between the FIB accounts operated by defendant Jlue and the Internation Bank of Liberia Limited or IBLL account operated by the NDS, saying the IBLL account contained several transactions that were consummated with service providers like Sethi Brothers and others.
“The court does not see the similarities between these two accounts,” Judge Kabba said, adding that the NDS is a corporate entity that is not owned by the Managing Director Mr. Benyan K. Johnson, while dismissing the defendant’s claim that he was allegedly authorized by the MD to withdraw funds from the account that was illegally opened to have it delivered to him.
The court said the defendant miserably failed to [prove] why the jury’s unanimous guilty verdict should be disturbed for a new trial.