Prosecutors in the Cuban light bulb trial yesterday led evidence that Kern Spencer, the former junior minister for energy, and his co-accused, Colleen Wright, walked into a St Elizabeth financial institution in 2007 and settled separate multimillion-dollar loans.
Sacha Neil-Elliott, a customer service representative at the Santa Cruz branch of Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) at the time, testified that the loans were paid off from separate fixed-deposit accounts Spencer and Wright held at JNBS with $6.25 million and just over $4 million, respectively.
The former financial controller at Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica, Henoy Russell, later testified that Wright received approximately $1.5 million in net salary from the state-owned company between May 2006 and September 2007 when she served as Spencer's personal assistant.
Russell told the court that she also received $400,000 in upkeep allowance and $400,000 in termination payment.
On Wednesday, Elliott testified that Spencer's accounts were opened with cash deposits totalling $3.2 million on July 25, 2007, and $3 million five days later on July 30.
Used as security for loans
She also said then that the accounts were used as security for two loans, each in the amount of $2.25 million, which was later used to purchase US$64,000 that was wired to a Land Rover dealership in Florida.
Yesterday, Elliott testified that Spencer and Wright visited her at her office on September 14, 2007, and the former junior minister requested that she pay off his loans from the accounts, then close them.
She said after she completed the transaction, Spencer handed Wright the JNBS voucher with the balance of $1.6 million written on it.
The JNBS customer service representative said Wright then indicated that she, too, wanted her account closed after it was used to pay off a $3-million loan she got from the financial institution.
She testified that at the completion of the transaction, there was a balance of $990,000, and Wright requested that it be added to Spencer's balance of $1.6 million and used to purchase a US$37,000 draft.
"Who was the payee [for the draft]?" asked lead prosecutor Paula Llewellyn.
"Olint Corporation was the payee," Elliott testified.
She testified that Spencer later sought to retrieve copies of the documents for the multimillion-dollar transactions, indicating that he was alerted by a friend at the Financial Investigations Division that he was about to be arrested for fraud.