Christopher James Forbes and Angus Knowles Jackson have been found guilty of property fraud in connection with their real estate business in Bali and sentenced to prison for 1.5 years each. On Wednesday, June 9, 2010, the Denpasar District Court sentenced the pair to 18 months in prison for their role in the theft of US$ 195,000 in a property transaction.
The attorney representing the pair told the court that his client will appeal the verdict which was one year less jail time than that demanded by public prosecutors. Similarly, prosecutors who felt the judges were too lenient in their sentencing said they, too, would appeal the sentence.
According to the Bali Post, the head of the judicial panel, IGB Komang Bagus Wijaya Adi, declared that the men had been proven to have committed fraud. The judge also said that he could discover no mitigating circumstances in the commission of the crime. The judge rejected claims by the defense team that the case was a civil law case and not subject to criminal prosecution. The judges also discounted testimony presented by Kadek Avon, the wife of one of the defendants, as being too biased to be seriously considered.
The crime took place on November 21, 2007, when an order for the purchase of a villa and land on Balangan Beach, South Kuta, was drawn up at the Austrindo Law Office in Bali. Dmitry Chernikov paid a deposit of US$ 195,000 or 10% of the total purchase price to the Bank Permata Account of Agus Waworuntu, a business partner of the two men. Chernikov, in fact, never received title to the subject land which prior to the transaction had already been impounded by the courts in connection with an earlier legal claim.
Agus Waworunto continues to sought by Bali police for his role in the fraud.
[Go Directly to Jail, Do Not Pass Go! ]
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