Brady's explanation- Attorneys tell why money was not transferred
Lawyers for well-known attorney Harold Brady have revealed that the $37 million at the centre of the fraud case brought against him is being held by a commercial bank to ensure that the transaction was not in breach of the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA).
That disclosure by attorney-at-law Abe Dabdoub came in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court yesterday, where Brady pleaded not guilty to fraudulent conversion. Brady was offered bail in the sum of $3 million and ordered to surrender his travel documents and give his fingerprint to the police.
He is scheduled to return to court on March 27.
Dabdoub told the court that his understanding was that the Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS) "has held onto the money so it could conduct a proceeds of crime investigation."
"He has not fraudulently converted any money. The nature of this complaint is such that it should really be placed before the civil courts," Dabdoub insisted.
He also revealed that if businessman Jeffrey Panton - who Brady is accused of defrauding - agreed to accept the money in Jamaican currency, it could be paid back by Monday.
In an interview with The Gleaner after Brady's brief court appearance, another one of his attorneys, Raymond Clough sought to explain that his client was asked by Panton and his wife to sell a house located in Stony Hill, St Andrew.
According to Clough, the businessman asked Brady to convert the proceeds of the sale into US currency. He said his understanding is that his client later paid over a portion of the money to Panton.
Clerk of the Courts Hansurd Lawson revealed that between June and September last year, Brady collected $51 million from the sale of the house, which was to be turned over to Panton. Instead, Lawson said Brady paid over US$165,000 in November last year, leaving a balance of J$37 million.
He said despite numerous attempts to collect the balance, Brady failed to make payment.
Clough explained that his understanding was that additional monies came in to pay Panton, "but BNS has held onto it and told Mr Brady he could not draw down on the money until they have completed their checks [as required by the POCA] to verify the source."
"That's why Mr Dabdoub told the court that if Mr Panton wants the money in Jamaican dollars he could get it on Monday," Clough underscored.