Fri | Sep 20, 2019

MMC Fraud Trial | Bank rep retakes stand as case resumes

Published:Tuesday | September 10, 2019 | 12:22 AMTamara Bailey/Gleaner Writer

Mandeville, Manchester:

After a monthlong break, the multimillion-dollar Manchester Municipal Corporation (MMC) fraud trial resumed yesterday with the representative from a bank at which numerous fraudulent cheques were encashed retaking the stand.

The representative was again asked by the prosecution to speak to the operations of the bank, with several questions posed about the technicalities surrounding the systems used to store data, including transactional history, as well as strategies to prevent intrusion and accessibility.

However, many of these questions were objected to by the defence and cited as irrelevant.

Several cheques, which were either encashed or deposited, were presented to the witness for analysis.

She identified the stamp on the back of some cheques as that of former bank teller Radcliffe McLean, who has been accused of facilitating the encashment of cheques prepared based on the alleged fictitious invoices.

Since the start of the trial, presiding Judge Ann-Marie Grainger has repeatedly urged the prosecution and defence to meet and iron out issues regarding disclosure of documents as evidence in the case.

Yesterday, amid talk of discrepancies with document submissions, the judge again instructed the parties to meet to tidy up the affairs.

The bank representative, who is the 14th witness to have taken the stand, is expected to be cross-examined in the following days.

The MMC – then the Manchester Parish Council – was raided by the Financial Investigations Division and Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency in 2016 after irregularities were discovered.

Former deputy superintendent of roads and works at the local authority, Sanja Elliott; his wife, Tashagay; and his parents, Edwardo and Myrtle, are also on trial before the Manchester Parish Court. David Harris, former secretary/manager; Kendale Roberts, temporary works overseer; Dwayne Sibbles, a carpenter; and McLean, the bank teller, round out the accused in the case.

All eight have pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to defraud, obtaining money by means of false pretence, possession of criminal property, engaging in a transaction that involves criminal property, and facilitating the retention of criminal property.

editorial@gleanerjm.com