On Wednesday 13 March 2024, the court handed down a judgment in the case against a former employee of the American Chamber of Commerce in Luxembourg (AMCHAM) who stood accused of fraud and theft.

As reported by AMCHAM, the judgment followed a re-trial held at the end of February 2024, during which the defendant's lawyer confirmed she did not contest the charges.

The Luxembourg District Court had previously found the defendant, who was tried in absentia, guilty of fraud and theft, among other crimes. She had been accused, for example, of embezzling nearly €100,000 from her former employer (AMCHAM) between 2016 and 2018.

This past Wednesday, as confirmed by the court, the defendant was handed a €2,500 fine as well as a total prison sentence of 42 months (six months less than the first time), of which she has to serve only 24 months. The remaining eighteen months have been suspended under some conditions, namely if she were to:

- compensate the civil party through payments of at least €250 per month;
- supply proof of the compensation of the civil parties with certificates and bank extracts that have to be communicated every six months to the General Prosecutor's Office;
- respond to summons from the General Prosecutor or SCAS probation officers;
- receive visits from SCAS agents and communicate the information and documents necessary for monitoring her compliance with the conditions;
- inform the SCAS of any change of residency.

She also has to pay court fees of €4,681.70.

Moreover, her house was confiscated and €90,958.76 (from the sale) will be allocated to AMCHAM. She also has to pay AMCHAM €10,000 in damages, as well a €2,500 procedural indemnity.

Regarding AMCHAM Chairman and CEO Paul Schonenberg, she has to pay him €1,000 in damages. She has to pay an additional €1,500 in damages to AMCHAM's former treasurer and current secretary, James O'Neal.

All parties now have 40 days to appeal the decision.

"AMCHAM's objectives during this legal case have been to: seek justice; confirm the innocence of AMCHAM and its good employees; achieve the return of money stolen by a dishonest employee; ensure the dishonest employee is found guilty of her crimes and appropriately punished," Paul Schonenberg explained to "I am satisfied the trial verdict has achieved these objectives: the accused employee has been found criminally guilty of multiple serious illegal infractions, punished by prison sentence and the verdict directs financial compensation to both AMCHAM and individual AMCHAM staff members for the damage done."

He concluded on a similarly positive note, looking towards the future of AMCHAM: "I believe justice has been served and look to move forward focusing all of AMCHAM's considerable energy, skill and influence to support and serve our members and this country of Luxembourg we all love."