Rupert Avila Admits to Stealing over $11,000 Print E-mail
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Thursday, 04 February 2016 00:00

IT Technician, Rupert Avila, 34, is lucky to be free from prison after he pleaded guilty to stealing over $11,000 from Belize City businessman Ricardo Gongora. Allegations are that on Saturday, January 30, he stole 21- one hundred dollar notes and 185 fifty dollar notes from a gas station on the Phillip Goldson Highway owned by Ricardo Gongora. According to Avila, he got a job at Gongora’s business place and while executing that job he needed to clean up the network cable so he took out some garbage to throw into the dumpster. When he emptied out the bin he noticed that there was money inside. Avila said he was frightened when he saw the money in the garbage so he placed it inside a vehicle he had access to at the time. He didn’t get a chance to tell his supervisor about the money because shortly after he found it the police came to the compound and found him in possession of the cash inside the vehicle.

Avila shared that story with Magistrate Carlon Mendoza when he appeared in court on Monday, February 1. This explanation was packaged with a guilty plea for a single charge of theft. Magistrate Mendoza told Avila that his story made no sense at all and finding money like that meant he should have done the right thing and report it to his supervisor instead of taking what was not his. Magistrate Mendoza accepted the guilty plea and proceeded directly to mitigation. In mitigation Avila begged the court for leniency saying that he is the sole provider for his common-law wife and children. He said, “I am sorry I made such a mistake when I took the money.” 

For the offense of theft, Magistrate Mendoza imposed a non-custodial sentence in a fine of $3,000 plus $5 cost of court fee. Avila must pay by April 29, 2016 or serve one year imprisonment in default of payment.