Shigemoto in court – Former minister accused of defrauding the countryPOSTED: 04/23/14 10:36 PM
St. Maarten – The prosecutor’s office is charging former Finance Minister Hiro Shigemoto with defrauding the country of 235,000 guilders (a bit more than $131,000), by accepting invoices from this amount from a company called Global Advisory Services. Tomorrow, Shigemoto and Global Advisory Services owner Roberto G. are in court for a pro forma hearing where the court will take a decision about possible additional investigation requests from the defense. The prosecutor’s office expects that the case will go to trial by the end of this year.
This so-called Piranha-investigation was already completed by the National Detective Agency on June 23, 2013. The prosecutor’s office stated in a press release that the investigation focused on “possible fraudulent actions” whereby St. Maarten “may have been defrauded of 235,000 guilders.”
Roberto G. stands accused of sending fake-invoices for this amount, while Shigemoto is charged with “making it possible that Roberto G. could enrich himself with money from the state treasury.”
Roberto G. was arrested in early December 2012. Later that month, the National Detective Agency also picked up Shigemoto, but he was released before Christmas.