Virgin Islands Official Indicted for Embezzling Government Funds
St. Thomas, USVI –United States Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert for the District of the Virgin Islands announced today the unsealing of an indictment charging Violet Anne Golden and Stephanie Barnes with a variety of offenses, including Conspiracy to Commit Theft from Programs Receiving Government Funds and Money Laundering.
According to the indictment, Golden, as chairperson of the Virgin Islands Casino Control Commission, and Barnes, a contractor, used Commission funds for a variety of personal expenditures, including but not limited to trips to Walt Disney World, tickets to a Broadway production of Hamilton, and making a down payment for the purchase of a vehicle. The indictment also alleges that Golden, who had an annual salary of $105,000, failed to file timely tax returns for the 2014 – 2017 tax years.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Office of the Virgin Islands Inspector General, and IRS-Criminal Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Nathan Brooks.
A link to the indictment can be found HERE. An indictment is merely a formal charging document, and it is not evidence of guilt. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.