Opening arguments for Spring Valley Trustee Vilair Fonvil corruption trial on the Rockland County Courthouse. Ricky Flores/lohud
NEW CITY – Spring Valley village Trustee Vilair Fonvil will proceed testifying Tuesday throughout his trial accusing him and Jermika Depas of conspiring to steal $eleven,000 from a summer time camp program.
Fonvil, fifty four, a trustee since December 2013, first took the stand Thursday earlier than County Courtroom Decide Kevin Russo through the non-jury trial.
Fonvil denied prosecution fees that he stole cash by way of an elaborate scheme to have camp staff money banker’s checks and provides him the money. He defined the cashed checks, and the way the summer time program was run regardless of logistical issues underneath questioning from his lawyer, Kevin Dunlap.
Spring Valley corruption trial: Defense witnesses testify
Fonvil told the judge he lives off his government salary of $25,000 a year while his wife is paid $115,000 annually as a nurse at a New York City hospital. They have one child. Fonvil said he doesn’t have a bank account in his name because an attorney from a former case has a judgment garnishing his wages for what started as an $80,000 legal bill.
He explained to Russo that people involved with the summer program cashed checks and gave him money to repay him for loans or fronting their salaries. He said the program coordinator, co-defendant Jermika Depas, refused to pay people unless they signed W-2 forms, so he fronted their salaries. He also lent Depas and another village employee money to pay their rent.
The felony charges against Fonvil and Depas include third-degree grand larceny as a crime of public corruption, third-degree corrupting the government, and money laundering. Fonvil faces an additional charge of receiving reward for official misconduct as a public official.
Prosecutor RIchard Kennison Moran argued that Fonvil and Depas created an $8,000 slush fund by using village vans rather than a bus company to drive the children to camp and hired only two bus monitors when six were funded by the village.
Moran has told the judge that three people cashed checks for Fonvil and Depas, ostensibly from the $24,225 allocation from the village Board of Trustees. Fonvil later got an additional $3,000 for the summer camp program.
Moran told the judge the check-cashing enabled a money-laundering operation by Fonvil in which he pocketed an estimated $11,000 he got from the village board to bus village children to summer camps. Depas was hired to run the operation.
Fonvil testified they…