The Civil Registry and Receiver’s Office.
PHILIPSBURG–The Court of First Instance on Wednesday sentenced a 38-year-old former employee of the Civil Registry to four months suspended, on three years’ probation, and 120 hours of community service, for fraud. After the hearing of this case, the Judge said he found it legally and convincingly proven that Paul F. Brookson had drafted a false statement concerning his mother-in-law’s residency in St. Maarten, while she in fact was staying in Dominica, where she was born. The woman had used the document to claim old-age pension AOV with social and health insurer SZV.
Brookson denied that he had done anything against the law, as in the Civil Registry’s former “yellow-card” system it was stated that his mother-in-law was residing legally in St. Maarten since October 25, 1977.
However, in the computerized system which is being used at the Civil Registry since 1996, the woman was no longer to be found, as she had lost her right of residency since 1980.
Confronted with this piece of information, and after numerous questions posed by the Prosecutor and the Judge, the defendant admitted that his mother-in-law was not residing in St. Maarten, but came to the island regularly to visit her daughter.
The Prosecutor found it proven that Brookson, who was convicted in November 2015 of forging two driver’s licences, had falsely made up the statement to assist his mother-in-law in obtaining a higher pension.
The Judge said he found it proven that Brookson had not followed regular procedures to the benefit of his family.
“This is a serious offence. Information provided by the Civil Registry should be trustworthy, as Government entities should be trusted,” the Judge said.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/68421-former-civil-registrar-sentenced-for-forgery