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Permanent Secretary to face questions after posting $15m bail for Cash Plus boss

Published:Tuesday | March 19, 2013 | 9:37 AM

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development Robert Rainford, who is now on departmental leave overseas, is to be questioned on his return to office on the role he played in the Carlos Hill fraud case.

The disclosure was made by Local Government Community Development Minister Noel Arscott.

The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre confirmed yesterday that in November 2010, Mr Rainford, who was the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Justice at the time, posted bail in the amount of $15 million for jailed Cash Plus boss, Carlos Hill.

The Office of the Trustee in Bankruptcy, which is seeking to recover outstanding money for Cash Plus depositors, operates under the Ministry of Justice.

Contacted by telephone last evening about the perceived conflict of interest, Rainford would not entertain any questions, saying he was overseas before hanging up the phone.

Subsequent efforts to contact him were unsuccessful.

The Local government minister Noel Arscott, who expressed surprise at the information, says he will be seeking answers.

Yesterday when Carlos Hill re-appeared in the Home Circuit Court on the 2010 charge of fraudulently inducing persons to invest in an investment scheme, the DPP Paula Llewellyn entered a nolle prosequi.

A nolle prosequi means that the Crown would not pursue the matter at this time, but could choose to do so at any other time.

The DPP made the decision to enter a nolle prosequi following complaints by the defence that it was getting some bits of evidence very late.

Justice Paulette Williams soon after told Hill that he was free to go.

But minutes later, Hill was re-arrested by police detectives on the same charges.

His lawyers immediately sought bail in front of Justice Lloyd Hibbert.

Hibbert in granting bail in the amount of $15 million said the same surety – Robert Rainford – was to be accepted.

However, Hill’s lawyers expressed disappointment saying the surety was not on the island and as a consequence their client would have to sleep in jail.

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