(CMR) Magistrate Angelyn Hernandez turned down Theresa Chin's offer to pay only $250 per month over a 36-year-period on a $95,927.65 pension debt for her now defunct 123 Travel company.
Chin appeared in Summary Court in her capacity as the only director of Fahrenheit Ltd. to update the court of her payment status for the outstanding pension payments. Chin offered to up the payments to $500 per month. However, the Magistrate refused that amount as well. However, the court did agree to allow payments of $700 for the next three months and then the minimum allowed would be $1,000 per month. The magistrate expressed that this should be sufficient time for her to “sort herself out”.
When reviewing Chin's submitted income and expense report and seeing that Chin pays $1,700 per month for rent, she expressed that it appears that Chin
“living above one’s means.”
The Magistrate also queried why she needed a three-bedroom home. Keva Reid, her attorney, explained that her daughter and granddaughter resided with her. The judge asked why Chin should be paying rent for those family members, Ms. Reid said the daughter paid utilities and other expenses.
Old telecom bills were also presented to the magistrate commented, who stated that those did not take priority over what is owed to the employees and commented:
“We don’t call it theft under the Pensions Law, but that’s what it amounts to … People need to cut their suit according to their cloth.”
The company went out of business in 2015 and in addition to the thirteen employees owed $95,927.65, there are also $13,100 in related fines. Pensions were deducted from the employees but never paid into a pension plan. The matter was reported to the Department of Labour and Pensions in 2015 and Chin eventually entered guilty pleas. Chin's lawyers has previously informed the court that money was sent on business expenses.
The magistrate stressed that any missed payments could result in a prison sentence. Chin is set to reappear before the court on October 24th.
CMR sources indicate that Chin currently owns another travel agency – KSR INC. LTD. T/A JUELZ TOURS AND TRAVEL one shop over from the previous defunct agency. We understand that she’s also the district PA for Bodden Town MLA, Dwayne Seymour. If true those workers have civil service contracts but are not considered civil servants.