Posted: Tuesday, January 31, 2023. 10:43 am CST.
By Aaron Humes: 25-year-old Jose Raul Pineda of a Belama Phase III address says he regrets deciding to steal $38,500 cash from his mother Flor while she was out of the country over the Christmas holiday.
But he is facing potentially heavy jail time – up to 10 years in prison – after pleading guilty to theft charges in Magistrate’s Court, despite his mother appearing at his arraignment and being willing to forgive him.
Pineda, who confessed to police, is alleged to have taken the money – $25,000 in Belize currency and $6,750 in United States currency -between December 20, 2022, and January 3, 2023, while Flor Pineda, a naturalized Belizean originally from Guatemala, had travelled there.
Pineda said in court that none of the money remains but he would undertake to pay it back if he was not sent to jail, but the presiding Senior Magistrate indicated that there was little leeway for that under the law since the matter is summary and not indictable. He was remanded pending sentencing next Monday, February 6.
Flor Pineda appeared in court asking to withdraw the charges in exchange for repayment but the court prosecutor indicated he would have to seek advice before withdrawing the charge and in any event, the court did not agree because of the large amount involved.
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