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Theft of $2,000 gets maid into triple trouble

14 October 2020

By Vir B. Lumicao

 

The Filipina pleaded guilty in Eastern Court to 2 counts of violating her visa condition and 1 of theft

After stealing $2,000 in July from her French employer in Stanley, a Filipina maid got into triple trouble when police found out she had overstayed her work visa and worked illegally after failing to file for renewal of her employment contract.

This was disclosed in Eastern Court today, Oct 14, after Jesella Lorica pleaded guilty to  charges of theft, breach of condition of stay for overstaying, and for working without an employment visa.

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Magistrate Cheang Kei-hong sentenced Lorica, 30, to two months in jail for the two immigration offenses, and a week in jail for the theft, with the sentences to run concurrently.

But, as she had been held in custody since her arrest on Aug 13, she has effectively served her sentences and has been ordered release after clearance today.

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The prosecution said sometime in mid-July this year, employer Edouard Denis Bergis put $2,000 in an unlocked drawer in his bedroom.

On Aug 13, Bergis checked the drawer and noticed the $2,000 was missing. He asked Lorica about the money and she admitted taking it, the prosecutor said.

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Police who were called by Bergis checked the maid’s passport and discovered she had overstayed her visa since Feb 17 this year. He had employed her since February 2016.

The officers also learned from the Immigration Department that she had not renewed her work contract.

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Bergis reportedly told investigators he gave the defendant $3,000 for the visa application after signing her work contract renewal form in early February.

He later asked the maid whether her visa was extended and she answered yes, so he extended her employment insurance coverage.

Lorica said she forgot to file her contract renewal and visa application in February, the prosecutor said.

The defense counsel, in mitigation, said the defendant merely forgot to submit her work contract and visa application to Immigration.

He said the defendant was remorseful, had a 9-year-old child and a mother who relied on her for financial support.

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