Sun | Nov 19, 2017

Manchester official, parents and wife arrested as $92m fraud scheme deepens

Published:Thursday | July 13, 2017 | 8:34 AM
In this file photo, Sanjay Elliott (left) and another man descend the steps of the Manchester Parish Court.

Livern Barrett, Senior Gleaner Writer

Financial investigators have arrested the wife and parents of the Manchester Municipal Corporation official charged in connection with the multi-million dollar fraud uncovered last year at the local authority.

Sanjay Elliot, acting deputy superintendent of roads and works at the corporation, along with his wife, Tasha-Gay Goulbourne-Elliot, his father Elwardo and his mother, Myrtle, were picked up in a series of early morning raids on Wednesday.

The four have been charged under the Proceeds of Crimes Act with money laundering offences and have since been released on bail.

They are scheduled to appear before the Manchester Parish Court on July 26.

The raids were conducted jointly by the Financial Investigations Division (FID) and the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA).

The FID confirmed that Sanjay Elliot and his father have been charged with possession of criminal property and engaging in a transaction that involves criminal property.

Elwardo Elliot was also charged with facilitating the retention of criminal property, the FID said.

Tasha-Gay Goulbourne Elliot and her mother-in-law have both been charged with facilitating retention of criminal property.

Sanjay Elliot was first arrested last June along with Manchester carpenter Dwayne Sibbles after investigators uncovered what they estimated at the time was a $9 million fraud scheme.

However, by their second court appearance, investigators revealed that losses from the fraud scheme had reached $92 million and another official at the Manchester Municipal Corporation, temporary work overseer, Kendale Roberts, was also arrested and charged.

In September last year, the FID went to court and obtained an order freezing approximately $220 million in cash, property and other assets traced to Sanjay Elliot.

The order, issued by Justice David Batts, covers an apartment complex consisting of 11 units, a four-storey family house, four residential lots, six high-end motor vehicles, including a Honda Ridgeline, and several bank accounts.

Outlining the allegations against the three men, prosecutors said the names and taxpayer registration numbers of several persons who previously worked for the corporation were used to create fictitious payment vouchers.

According to prosecutors, the information was relayed to Roberts by Elliott via the Internet-based platform WhatsApp, with instructions to prepare payment vouchers for work that was never carried out.

According to prosecutors, Sibbles was the person who cashed the cheques.