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Former Virgin Islands Senator charged with embezzlement of Legislative funds

WASHINGTON, Aug 25, CMC – The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) says a former Virgin Islands senator has been extradited from Modena, Italy for allegedly defrauding the government of the Virgin Islands of tens of thousands of dollars while he served as a senator in the territorial legislature.

On Wednesday, the DOJ said Wayne Anthony Gunnar James, 55, of St. Croix, was arrested in Italy on June 29.

court rulingJames was indicted on October 1, 2015, with two counts of wire fraud and one count of federal program embezzlement.

According to the indictment, from 2009 to 2011, James served as Chair of the Senate Committee on Youth, Education and Culture in the 28th Legislature of the Virgin Islands.

While serving as the chair, James allegedly obtained tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars for the purpose of acquiring and translating historical documents related to the “Fireburn,” an 1878 uprising by freed slaves in St. Croix, the indictment states.

The indictment alleges that James submitted false documents to the legislature and received cash advances in order to conduct historical research on behalf of the people of the Virgin Islands.

“James embezzled the cash advances for his own personal benefit instead of using them for the intended purposes,” the DOJ said.

It said the US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Office of the Virgin Islands Inspector General and Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation are investigating the case.

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WASHINGTON, Aug 25, CMC – The United States Department of Justice (DOJ) says a former Virgin Islands senator has been extradited from Modena, Italy for allegedly defrauding the government of the Virgin Islands of tens of thousands of dollars while he served as a senator in the territorial legislature.

On Wednesday, the DOJ said Wayne Anthony Gunnar James, 55, of St. Croix, was arrested in Italy on June 29.

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court rulingJames was indicted on October 1, 2015, with two counts of wire fraud and one count of federal program embezzlement.

According to the indictment, from 2009 to 2011, James served as Chair of the Senate Committee on Youth, Education and Culture in the 28th Legislature of the Virgin Islands.

While serving as the chair, James allegedly obtained tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars for the purpose of acquiring and translating historical documents related to the “Fireburn,” an 1878 uprising by freed slaves in St. Croix, the indictment states.

The indictment alleges that James submitted false documents to the legislature and received cash advances in order to conduct historical research on behalf of the people of the Virgin Islands.

“James embezzled the cash advances for his own personal benefit instead of using them for the intended purposes,” the DOJ said.

It said the US Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), Office of the Virgin Islands Inspector General and Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation are investigating the case.