Prosecutors say fraud evidence compelling
After three days of withering criticism during which the defence sought to invalidate the case brought against eight accused in the multimillion-dollar fraud trial enmeshing the Manchester Municipal Corporation, the Crown fired back yesterday with documentary evidence they said substantiated their claims.
The prosecution accused the defence of “spinning” information in making accusations of misconduct against the Crown.
With a PowerPoint presentation detailing their case, the prosecution argued that there was proof that accused former temporary works overseer Kendale Roberts and former director of finance and secretary manager at the Manchester Municipal Corporation, David Harris, signed fraudulent cheques, as well as of accused Dwayne Sibbles accompanying payees to the bank to see to the encashment and collection of money.
The Crown also said that there was evidence of former bank teller Radcliffe McLean offering express services to payees by calling them out of lines to be served.
Former deputy superintendent of roads and works Sanja Elliott has been alleged to be the mastermind of a scheme, using his position to defraud by initiating work and signing vouchers.
The prosecution asserted that cell-phone messages between Harris, Roberts, and Elliott prove the solicitation and recruitment of contractors, the sharing of tax registration numbers and names as well as the creation of fraudulent cheques in different names, and the preparation of fictitious documents to facilitate payment.
Below is a series of responses from a WhatsApp conversation between Elliott and Roberts, which the prosecution said provided compelling evidence.
“Me need 3M bills and 150k for bushing.”
“Yow need 1.6M worth of bills tomorrow.”
“... Put any name on it.”
With one stated payee who was called to the witness stand having more than $8 million paid out in his name and another having more than $4 million disbursed in hers, the prosecution said it had made its case that the accused were involved in fraud and conspiracy.
Prosecutors also reiterated that Elliott’s assets valuing more than $80 million was not commensurate with his annual salary of $2 million.
The matter continues in the Porus Court today.