(CMR) Theresa Chin, the former owner of now-defunct 123 Travel, has been threatened with imprisonment if pension arrears are not paid.
Chin owes $95,927.65 to 13 employees for pension deductions that were withdrawn but never paid into a pension plan. Several persons are owed over $24,000 each since 2009.
In July CMR reported that the magistrate was becoming frustrated over the matter and had refused to a 36-year payment plan.
Magistrate Hernandez has now ordered Ms. Chin to make payments of $1,600 per month until November 2019, when she will have to pay the remaining sum of about $70,000. She defaults on this she will be facing four years in prison.
In July, defense attorney Keva Reid said Ms. Chin was offering to pay $500 per month. Magistrate Hernandez said that the amount was still not acceptable. She said she would accept $700 a month for the next three months to give Ms. Chin time to “sort herself out.” After that, the court expected no less than $1,000 per month, the magistrate said at the time.
On Wednesday, Magistrate Hernandez said that even the $1,000 per month she referenced at the last hearing is not acceptable to her, because it would still take Ms. Chin more than 90 months to pay her debts.
“The difficulty is that these matters are being treated as criminal matters,” she said. “It amounts to theft, and we can’t wait 90 months at the rate of $1,000 per month to pay off something that would land people in other circumstances in jail.”
Chin is the political office manager for Health Minister “John-John” Dwayne Seymour of Bodden Town.