Former Virgin Islands senator convicted of theft and fraud

August 16, 2018 GMT

ST. THOMAS, U.S. Virgin Islands (AP) — A jury in the U.S. Virgin Islands has convicted a former member of the territory’s legislature of fraud and theft for diverting funds intended for research into a 19th century labor uprising.

Former Sen. Wayne James was accused of stealing $70,000 provided to him by the legislature to research the 1878 Fireburn rebellion.

Authorities said he also kept about 1,600 pages of Fireburn documents acquired from the Danish National Archives that he intended to use to write a screenplay about the uprising against Dutch colonial rule.

Prosecutors said he used the money to pay debts and fund his re-election. He was convicted Thursday.

James served a single term in 2009-10. He was arrested in Italy in June 2016.

The 56-year-old former senator is scheduled to be sentenced in December.