Mon | Aug 21, 2017

Patria-Kaye Aarons | Carlos slicker than his hair gel

Published:Wednesday | May 31, 2017 | 5:00 AM
King of the Hill, Carlos of Cash Plus infamy.
1
2

Bernie Madoff - 150 years.

Robert Allen Stanford - 110 years.

David Smith - He spent six years in a Turks and Caicos prison, was released in 2015, and is fighting extradition to the United States, which wants him to enjoy its legendary hospitality for, perhaps, 20 years.

Carlos Hill - Free to eat a big fish on Hellshire Beach anytime he pleases.

How in the world did that happen? How do you defraud 40,000 people of $10 billion and not even sweat out your cream hair?

In court, only one lady turned up to testify against him. Most annoyed by the royal waste of time, the judge declared the fiasco poppy-show business, and instructed the jury to set Carlos Hill free.

All now my head cyaan stop spinning. Even after interviewing the DPP myself, this whole matter still has me baffled. I have four unanswered questions.

1) Why were those the only charges against Carlos Hill in the first place?

As my non-legal mind was made to understand, Mr Hill was essentially charged with fraud. To prove it, the DPP's office had to find people who were personally solicited by Mr Hill to place their money in Cash Plus. People who he or his company convinced to invest their money.

How many of us have met our branch managers, let alone the owners of our bank? Michael Lee-Chin ever personally called you up? You ever sat down and chatted with Jacqueline Sharp? If that's all we could find to charge him with, that sounds fool-fool to me. There must have been other laws to throw at Carlos Hill that would have been easier to prove and prosecute. If not, our laws suck!

2) Why were there only 16 witnesses available to the DPP's office?

 

POOR SEARCH SKILLS

 

All right, so it is what it is. These are the charges, and now you are looking for people personally allegedly swindled by the man. You have a potential pool of 40,000 and you can only find 16. And none of these 40,000 people are in hiding and still you can only find 16? Your search capabilities need bolstering, Madam DPP. Might I suggest you employ two interns familiar with Facebook and any woman stalking her philandering spouse? I guarantee you that 16 would multiply many times over.

3) Why did only one witness show up?

Okay, so you only have 16. This day has been almost a decade in the making. It's a crucial one that could make or break the case and these 16 witnesses are all you have. Who called all 16 witnesses the day before and impressed upon them the urgency to show up? Who offered to send a taxi to pick them up? Who promised them an ackee and salt fish breakfast if they got there early? Who called on the morning of court to follow up? No one can make me understand how the presence of one, dege-dege woman came as a surprise. Whose job was it to ensure that that didn't happen?

4) And finally, I want to know who is Carlos Hill's obeah man.

Every time I see footage of Hill on TV, I'm looking for a guard ring. There must have been one. Considering the fate of Madoff, Stanford and Smith, only the interference of the supernatural could have brought about the outcomes of last Wednesday. I suspect his obeah man wasn't of the Mother Liza ilk. His was the expensive kind. The kind that charged big bucks because they needed to afford marketing campaigns in print and on television and who referred to themselves as 'Indian Astrologer'. I'm trying to console myself with that theory. Because if this wasn't a win courtesy of Carlos Hill's obeah man, wow!

Like far too many instances in the recent past, the Jamaican justice system has assumed the role of the nerdy kid in the class, with a big sign stuck to his back saying, 'KICK ME!' I don't know how many more blows he can take.

- Patria-Kaye Aarons is a television presenter and confectioner. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com and findpatria@yahoo.com, or tweet @findpatria.