Sun | Jan 24, 2021

Big bank collusion - Witness testifies of massive deposits without proof of income

Published:Thursday | November 21, 2019 | 12:00 AMTamara Bailey/Gleaner Writer

A financial forensic examiner of the Financial Investigations Division (FID) has testified of a web of conspiracy between a former municipal officer and several bank personnel to make massive deposits without documentary evidence of commensurate income.

The revelation was made yesterday in the Manchester Municipal Corporation multimillion-dollar fraud trial by Desmond Robinson regarding transactions conducted at several financial institutions by one of the accused.

Robinson said that cash deposits in excess of 48 million made to four different banks by Elliott, which contravened protocol without providing a credible source of funds.

In providing further detailed information, Robinson declared , based on the information received from the institution, that Elliott had $18 million in an account there over a three-year period, though his know-your-customer (KYC) information revealed a stated salary per annum.

He argued that the frequency of deposits suggested that bank personnel were in collusion with Elliott.

Letter from JP

Robinson said that at a second bank, Elliott’s KYC file revealed that he was a used-car salesman, endorsed by a letter from a justice of peace.

He said that between 2013 and 2016, Elliott had $23.9 million in that account with no stated source of funding.

Meanwhile, the forensic financial examiner said that there was no correlation between Elliott’s banking transactions and his role as a used-car salesman.

In a third bank, Robinson said that he made a shocking discovery that Elliott had numerous cheques drawn on the account of the then Manchester Parish Council, which has been renamed a municipal corporation, and made payable to different individuals in his account.

He said that based on his analysis, these monies were not paid out and the account was not used to change cheques but for Elliott’s benefit.

The examiner stated that the third bank had filed a threshold transaction report (TTR) indicating that a lodgement of $10.3 million was in excess of the established threshold.

However, the defence objected, stating that there was no documentary evidence to corroborate that claim.

The witness later disclosed that at the time of Elliott’s arrest, multiple withdrawals were made by relatives of Elliott from accounts to evade the restrictions placed by the FID.

During Tuesday’s sitting, the witness revealed that former superintendent of roads and works at the corporation, Sanja Elliott, had a net worth of $255 million.

Elliott’s wife, Tashagay, and his parents, Edwardo and Myrtle, are also on trial before the Manchester Parish Court, along with Dwayne Sibbles, a carpenter, and Radcliffe McLean, on fraud charges.

The matter continues on Friday in the Porus court.