Accused scammer gets new court date
Christopher Thomas, Gleaner Writer
WESTERN BUREAU:The Trelawny woman who was arrested in a 2012 anti-lottery scam police operation had the case against her transferred to April 1, when she appeared in the Montego Bay Resident Magistrate's Court.
Kemisha Simmons, who is of a Duncans address in Trelawny, had her bail extended after her attorney, Khadine Colman, asked presiding magistrate Carolyn Tie for a final mention date in the case. To date, the matter has not been prosecuted, despite being in the hands of the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for a protracted period.
"Is the file ready?" Tie asked Clerk of the Court Natalie Malcolm when the matter was mentioned.
"I am unable to say as the DPP has conduct of this matter," said Malcolm. "... The representative from the DPP's office is asking for a date for mention next Thursday, February 19."
However, Colman immediately objected, arguing that the case has not proceeded for the past two years.
"The matter has been on the list since 2012 ... . I will ask for a final date, and if certain things are not done, I will ask that the matter be dismissed for want of prosecution," said Colman.
The court was also told that the complainant in the matter was mentally incapacitated, a concern that was raised when the case was last mentioned on December 9, 2014.
Following discussions with the attorneys, Tie set the case for mention on April 1.
"You are to return here on April 1. Your bail is extended until then," Tie told Simmons.
Simmons was arrested on August 19, 2012, along with her co-accused and common-law husband Kemar Steele, who is now deceased. The couple was arrested during an operation by the Lottery Scam Task Force in Duncans, Trelawny.
According to the allegations, the American complainant was spotted in a bank in the company of Steele and Simmons. The American was reportedly lured into the country by the two, who were said to have told him that he had won US$37 million and that he should collect it and pay over J$300,000.
It is further alleged that investigations by the police led to a search at the couple's house, where several items, including two laptop computers with information relating to the illegal scam were found along with electronics items, documents and over J$100,000.
Steele was charged with conspiracy to defraud, and Simmons was charged with possession of criminal property, money laundering and conspiracy to defraud.