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Manchester MC Fraud trial | Lands, receipts and several questions

Published:Friday | September 13, 2019 | 12:00 AMTamara Bailey/Gleaner Writer

Mandeville, Manchester:

There was some haggling over receipts for land registered to other persons, which were found at the home of one of the accused in the multimillion-dollar Manchester Municipal Corporation fraud case as the trial continued yesterday.

A representative from the National Land Agency (NLA) took the witness stand yesterday and revealed that in 2017, four certificates of title were requested from the agency by the Financial Investigations Division (FID).

She stated that the certificates were for a parcel of land in Epsom, St Mary; two parcels in Hatfield, Manchester; and another in Daley’s Grove, Manchester, registered to different persons.

As the prosecution pressed the witness, attorney Norman Godfrey, who represents former Deputy Superintendent of Roads and Works Sanja Elliott; his wife, TashaGaye Goulbourne-Elliott; and Elliott’s caretaker, Dwayne Sibbles, said the evidence given had no relevance.

In refutation, the prosecution revealed that the sale agreements in relation to properties were tendered into evidence in the form of receipts seized from Elliott’s office during a 2016 raid.

The lead prosecutor revealed that the receipts were for deposits and payments made on lots in Hatfield by Elliott.

She said that one of the receipts bears the name of Elliot, in addition to one other named entity to which a parcel of land in Hatfield is registered.

The prosecution sought to get information on the land on which Elliott’s house sits. However, the NLA representative could not provide such details.

Godfrey, in strengthening the argument for the defence, questioned whether the volume number for land on a receipt was enough to disclose proprietorship.

Godfrey added that it could not be suggested that lands were placed in the names of others when some of the lands were registered over two decades ago.

The prosecution maintained that “at best”, Elliott had an equitable interest in the lands by virtue of the receipts found at his house, which bears relevant information to what the Crown is putting forward.

In cross-examination, the witness later confirmed that proprietorship could not be determined without a name on the title.

The NLA representative was the 17th witness in the case.

Two other witnesses were called to the stand yesterday.

A detective sergeant attached to the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency, spoke briefly to an operation carried out with representatives of the FID at the home and furniture shop of co-accused Edwardo and Myrtle Elliott – Sanja Elliott’s parents – in Hatfield.

The other witness was a representative from Tax Administration Jamaica, who detailed the protocols of the organisation and information requests concerning the accused. He, along with other witnesses, are expected to return to court today.