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Mar 4, 2014

Melonie Coye exonerated; Court of Appeal orders the return of money

A five-year ordeal is finally over for the Coye family of Belize City. This afternoon, the Court of Appeal overturned Melonie Coye’s conviction for money laundering and ordered the Financial Intelligence Unit to return one point five million dollars plus interest forfeited from her company, Money Gram International. Her father, Michael, was also exonerated posthumously. Despite suffering from chronic diabetes, Michael spent time behind bars until last November when the Court of Appeal granted him bail. He died within five days of his release and his family could barely afford his funeral expenses. Melonie was also granted bail at the time of her father’s passing. The appeal today was won on the grounds that the F.I.U. could not prove the charge of money laundering or that the confiscated monies were proceeds of a crime. The Coye’s were arrested on December thirty-first 2008 sparking their legal challenge in the courts to clear their name. In August 2012, Melanie and her father were sentenced to three years and fined one hundred thousand dollars each, while two employees: Detrick Kingston and Athlee Matute were fined twenty-five dollars each and given no jail time. At the onset of the ordeal, Melanie’s mother, Marlene, and her husband, James Gerou, and brother, Jude Coye, were also charged. Those charges were subsequently withdrawn against them. The Court of Appeal judges are justices Samuel Awich, Douglas Mendez and Dennis Morris. 

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6 Responses for “Melonie Coye exonerated; Court of Appeal orders the return of money”

  1. Citizen says:

    It’s truly sad the thing people have to go through to clear their name. You should also be able to sue the state for wrongfully locking you up for such a long time even though you were innocent, not to mention, for tarnishing your name also!

  2. oscar965 says:

    The reason why we have criminals living among us is because we do not educate our Police Department. The People who are responsible to uphold the law can barely read the law. The only people with great education are the Lawyers of Belize. They prefer things stay this way so that they can make money and keep making the Police and other organizations like the Financial Intelligence Unit look like fools BUT that does not mean that people are not guilty!!! Look out people your neighbor may be a rapist, a serial killer but because we cannot properly gather evidence they get away free!!!!!

  3. Retired CEO says:

    Despite the fact that we have a bunch of buffoons running some of these vital law enforcement agencies it also make the entire GOB look like a–holes since they are the ones responsible for the appointments of these buffoons. Unfortunately and very sadly so I agree this does not mean that some are not guilty of some of these offences. However, none of this cannot bring back their love one who passed away as a result of the officials stupidity, ignorance and inability to interpret the law, much-less gathering significant evidence in order to enforce the law successfully. This is clearly a travesty of justice coupled with the making some lawyers millionaires. Well, so much for that, that is how the cookie crumbles. Wait and see the lawsuits that the GOB and its’ lawyers will have to tackle.

  4. Lord LOL says:

    Good News for them. Not only they should be compensated for economic losses but also compensated for they entire ordeal.

  5. Hatari says:

    OK, just where did the 1.5 million $$$ come from anyway? Oh sure, didn’t you know, every Belizean has that kind of cash just laying around! Looks like the police, FIU, & DPP have screwed up another one. We have got to have one of the worst police departments in the entire world.

  6. Stuart says:

    They stole and used our identities nevertheless drivers licenses-anyone forget that and now sympathize with them? one little office makes a profit of 1.5 million-it doesn’t add up-I hope income tax takes their cut.

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