Sat | Jun 3, 2023

Pensioner allegedly swindled out of his property by loan sharks

Published:Wednesday | May 17, 2023 | 3:33 PM
The matter has been reported to the police's Fraud Squad.

Efforts are now being made to locate two men who allegedly swindled a 67-year-old pensioner out of his $43 million property in Havendale, St Andrew.

The pensioner, who is described as illiterate, was under the belief that he was signing documents in 2021 as a witness to a $7 million loan but it turned out his signature was placed on the form as one of two borrowers.

King's Counsel Valerie Neita Robertson, who is representing the pensioner, disclosed today that it was when he went to the tax office last week to pay his property tax that her client was told that the property was transferred in 2021 to two alleged loan sharks from Montego Bay, St James.

She explained that the loan agreement had no business address on it and it was stated on the form that the loan was to be repaid within three months.

“A man who my client knows asked him to witness his signature to the loan transaction because he did not know any Justice of the Peace in Havendale. My client, who is illiterate, agreed to witness the signature but did not know that he was signing as a borrower along with the man,” Neita Robertson said.

The pensioner is still living at the property as no one has come there to evict him but, in the meantime, Neita-Robertson has lodged a caveat against the title so that no transaction can take place without the rightful owner being notified.

She said if the loan was a genuine one then the proper course was for a suit to be filed in court to recover the sum owing from the borrowers.

In the meantime, the man who asked the pensioner to sign the loan agreement and the two alleged lenders cannot be found but Neita Robertson said efforts are being made to find them.

Legal action will be taken against the men to have the property returned to the owner as soon as the men are located, she disclosed.

According to Neita Robertson, when she made a report about the incident at the police's Fraud Squad she was shocked to be informed that there were about 60 similar cases.

Neita Robertson says better checks and balances are needed to protect property owners.

- Barbara Gayle

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