Thu | Oct 29, 2020

Prosecutors reveal millions expended on lavish brands by accused

Published:Friday | January 17, 2020 | 12:56 AMTamara Bailey/Gleaner Writer

Porus, Manchester

Details of a total of $1.5 million spent over a six-day period by an accused in the Manchester Municipal Corporation multimillon-dollar fraud trial were among the startling revelations made by the prosecution yesterday as it sought to establish a link between expenditure and alleged illegitimate earnings.

Prosecutors said that Sanja Elliot, former deputy superintendent of roads and works at the corporation, made credit card purchases of luxury brands, including Prada, Louis Vuitton, Lacoste, Guess, Foot Locker, Armani, Perry Ellis, and Timberland while on vacation overseas.

Hotel stays, purchase of luxury cars, millions in investments on the stock market, and property construction were also revealed among Elliott’s expenditures.

Lead prosecutor Channa Ormbsy said that Elliot’s $255 million net worth is not substantiated by his wages from the corporation but was built through monies swindled from the corporation.

She reiterated that Elliott, from 2008 up to his arrest in 2016, would have earned just under $15 million.

She added, however, that evidence from Elliott’s bank deposits showed signs of significant earnings increase from 2012, around the time he would have been promoted to deputy superintendent, and, at one point, acting superintendent at the corporation.

Ormbsy revisited statements from investigators who said that Elliott had told them that he was a used-car salesman and draftsman but acknowledged that no source of additional legitimate income was traced and that one friend of Elliott’s, called to the witness stand, denied any knowledge of his involvement in selling used cars.

She said Elliott had disclosed in 2008, on a know-your-customer form at a financial institution, that he was a used-car salesman, but it was not until 2013 that large sums began being deposited into his accounts.

She said that over a period, these deposits amassed to $24 million in one account, just under $20 million in another account, and just over US$41,000 in another account.

In the case of Elliott’s parents, Edwardo and Myrtle, and wife, TashaGaye Goulbourne-Elliott, Ormbsy argued that they knowingly facilitated the retention of criminal property and assisted with the distribution of funds allegedly gained through illegitimate means.

The matter continues in the Porus Court tomorrow.