Michael Lorne pleads not guilty to fraud charges
Well-known criminal defence attorney Michael Lorne yesterday pleaded not guilty during his first court appearance on fraud charges.
However, during the brief appearance before the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court, prosecutors revealed that the case file was incomplete as several statements were still
Lorne, who has been charged with fraudulent conversion, forgery and uttering forged documents, had his bail extended and was ordered to give his fingerprint to the police.
He is scheduled to return to court on March 13.
The allegations against Lorne centre around the sale of a house in the east Kingston community of Rockfort.
According to the Police Fraud Squad, the house, which is jointly owned by siblings who reside overseas, was sold for $6 million in 2011, however, the police said one of the siblings, who resides in the United States, complained that she did not get the $3 million she was entitled to from the sale of the house.
Further, the police said the woman complained that a document giving effect to the sale was presented to the titles office with a signature purported to be hers and was witnessed and stamped by Lorne.
However, according to the police, the woman has insisted that she never signed any document giving effect to the sale of the house.
Responding to the allegations, the attorney said after the required payments were deducted from the sale of
the house, only $4 million remained. Of this amount, he said $3.5 million was paid to the woman's brother who resides in the United Kingdom.
"She said she wanted the same amount that I gave her brother, which I said I couldn't do. The most I could do is give her the rest and a lawyer took a cheque to her (in that amount) and she said 'no'," Lorne told The Gleaner on Tuesday.