St. Thomas, USVI – United States Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert for the District of the Virgin Islands announced today that Violet Anne Golden, the former chairperson of the Virgin Islands Casino Control Commission, was sentenced to 24 months in prison following an earlier guilty plea to Theft of Government Funds and Failing to File an Income Tax Return. Golden was also ordered to pay restitution.
According to public documents filed in the case, Golden admitted to diverting nearly $300,000 in Commission funds for her own personal benefit and the benefit of others through bank wires, writing Commission checks, and using Commission credit cards. In addition, Golden failed to timely file an income tax return, despite earning an annual salary of $105,000.
Ms. Golden was taken into custody on January 14, 2020, following the entry of her guilty pleas in federal court, and she has been in custody since that time.
U.S. Attorney Shappert praised the Office of the Virgin Island Inspector General, IRS-Criminal Investigations and the FBI for their important work in this investigation. “Territorial and federal investigators have worked tirelessly to expose this serious abuse of the public trust. We hope that yesterday’s sentencing will remind everyone that pubic officials are not above the law.”
Special Agent in Charge Michael J. De Palma, of IRS Criminal Investigation, Miami Field Office, said, “High ranking officials perpetrating a fraud scheme by utilizing funds from the Government of the Virgin Islands betray the public’s trust. We are all responsible for abiding by the tax laws, regardless of anyone’s position of authority. Choosing not to file a tax return is a crime punishable by law. The IRS Criminal Investigation is committed to investigating individuals who violate their tax responsibilities. IRS-CI, with assistance from the Virgin Islands Bureau of Internal Revenue will continue our collective efforts to enforce the law and foster public trust.”
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.