Chad Bryan, Gleaner Writer
Seven persons, including an employee were charged in connection with a million-dollar fraud at the National Housing Trust, when they appeared in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court today.
The accounts affected are Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, former Prime Minister, PJ Patterson, former finance minister, Audley Shaw and former JLP Member of Parliament, Michael Stern.
Those charged are Ann-Marie Henningham-Connallie, Tasha-Gaye Slater, Christoph Madden, Rochelle Bryan, Luis Mills, Rania Bonner and Chantell Connallie.
They were charged with unauthorised access to computer data with intent to facilitate commission of an offense, unauthorised modification of computer data, causing money to be paid out by means of false pretense and conspiracy to defraud.
The accused were ordered to give their finger prints to the police and will return to court on August 9, when the matter will be called up for mention.
Allegations are that the systems in the Contribution Refund Unit of the agency had been manipulated by the employee to create fraudulent refunds which were collected by the six accused.
The information was manipulated so it appeared as though the victims had applied for their contribution refunds.
However, the names were then changed allegedly to the names of the accused in order to facilitate the collection of these funds.
After the funds had been collected, the names were then allegedly changed to reflect the original account holders.
A total of 19 accounts inclusive of the other four account holders had been affected by the fraud, a total amounting to just over $1 million.