Tue | Jun 25, 2019

Manchester Fraud Trial: Cheques paid to woman who says she was never contracted

Published:Friday | June 14, 2019 | 2:36 PM

Livern Barrett, Senior Staff Reporter

A woman whose name appeared on nearly a dozen cheques paid out by the Manchester Parish Council has testified that she has never been employed there and was never contracted to do any work for the local government body.

The Manchester Parish Council has since been renamed the Manchester Municipal Corporation.

The woman, whose name is being withheld, was giving evidence in the Manchester Parish Court during the trial of three former officials of the Corporation.

The former officials have been accused of conspiring with others to defraud the local authority over $400 million through the use of fictitious invoices.

Yesterday, former deputy mayor of Mandeville Ervin Facey, identified for prosecutors, several cheques that were drawn on the corporation's account and made payable to the woman.

Responding to questions from lead prosecutor Patrice Hickson, the woman acknowledged that in December 2016 she cashed one of the  cheques, valued at $300,000, at the request of Sanja Elliott, former deputy superintendent for roads and works, with whom she had developed a friendship.

Documents related to the other cheques were shown to her in court and she testified that she never saw them before.

"Have you ever been employed to the Manchester Parish Council?" Hickson asked.

"No," the woman replied.

"Have you, at any point,  done work for the Manchester Parish Council?" the prosecutor continued.

"No," the woman again replied.

Elliot, temporary works overseer Kendale Roberts, and former acting secretary manager and director of finance, David Harris, are on trial for fraud.

Co-accused bank teller Radcliffe McLean, Elliot’s wife, Tasha-Gaye Goulbourne Elliott, and his parents, Edwardo and Mrytle Elliott, and his former employee Dwayne Sibbles are also before the court.

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