Spring Valley men on trial for theft of government money

Posted: Updated:
SPRING VALLEY -

The trial for the Spring Valley trustee and village contractor accused of stealing government money is underway, with the defense calling the accusations part of a political battle.

Prosecutors say Vilair Fonvil and Jermika Depas stole money that was meant to pay for buses and monitors for kids in the village heading to summer camp last year.

They say the duo cashed more than $24,000 worth of checks and pocketed around $10,000.

"(Fonvil) is not creating this camp to line his own pockets or hire his friends," says Fonvil's attorney, Kevin Dunlap. "He created this camp because the people of Spring Valley wanted another option."

Both defendants showed little emotion in the courtroom, while Dunlap said that the accusations were related to politics.

"The evidence will show that there was no theft of village funds by my client or Depas," says Dunlap. "Bottom line is that Vilair Fonvil did not profit one dime from this entire program."

Witnesses also took the stand Monday, including a bus monitor and another Spring Valley trustee.

The judge presiding over the case is hearing the trial without a jury and will render their own verdict.

If convicted, both Fonvil and Depas face up to 10 years in prison.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 5 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Time Warner® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login, create an account or subscribe to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."