Woman appeals five year sentence

A woman sentenced to five years behind bars for stealing over $283,000 is appealing her punishment.

Shukuanya Thompson, 41, is asking the Court of Appeal to review her sentence on the basis that it was unduly severe.

Her lawyer, Ryszard Humes, argued Senior Magistrate Derence Rolle-Davis did not give sufficient weight to mitigating factors, such as her early guilty plea and that she was the mother of a young child.

Terry Archer defended the sentence at the hearing before Justices of Appeal Sir Michael Barnett, Milton Evans and Carolita Bethell.

Thompson is a former corporate services manager at HLB Galanis, the accounting firm hired to manage a $60 million loan from the National Insurance Board to fund a housing program.

Thompson admitted to doctoring the books to show that contractors were entitled to checks for work that was never done.

The contractors gave Thompson kickbacks after they cashed their checks.

As a part of a plea deal entered in 2018, Thompson agreed to repay $180,000 to avoid a five-year prison sentence.

The agreement called for a $10,000 payment, with the rest of the money being repaid in monthly installments of $1,000 over 14 years.

But Thompson only made six payments after defaulting on the agreement.

Rolle-Davis issued a warrant for her committal to prison last August.

Thompson appealed her conviction and sentence.

The Court of Appeal upheld Thompson’s conviction, but directed the magistrate to impose a new sentence.

Rolle-Davis imposed the five-year sentence and ordered the return of the $16,000 that she paid as part of the contested plea agreement.

The court adjourned the matter to November to receive the reasons for the magistrate’s decision.

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Artesia Davis

Artesia primarily covers court stories, but she also writes extensively about crime.

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