Fri | Sep 22, 2023

Alleged Seprod fraud mastermind further remanded

Published:Wednesday | May 31, 2023 | 5:00 PM
A bail hearing was scheduled for today but was postponed.

Jason Grant, the alleged mastermind behind the $160 million fraud at Seprod Group of Companies, was today remanded for a bail application on June 16.

Grant is charged along with 24 other accused, all of whom have been granted station bail in the amount of $400,000.

A bail hearing was scheduled for today but was postponed to give the clerks or the court, who are new in the matter, time to familiarise themselves with the file.

Attorney-at-law C. J Mitchell, who is representing Grant, today maintained that his client was denied station bail because he refused to hand over his phone to the investigator.

The lawyer claimed he was told directly by the investigator that his client would not be given bail as a form of punishment.

The prosecutor, however, told Parish Judge Leighton Morrison that Grant was not offered bail as there were concerns that he would abscond and would interfere with the witnesses.

In the end, a date was scheduled for a bail hearing next month and Grant was remanded.

In the meantime, his co-accused bail was extended for them to return to court on June 26, when a determination will be made whether to vary their bail to add conditions including, surrendering their travel documents and reporting g to the police.

When the matter was mentioned earlier this month, the clerk of the court asked for the condition to be attached to their bail.

As a result, today was set aside for the judge to deal with the matter.

But, the court was forced to delay that aspect of the matter after lawyers in the case submitted that attaching conditions was not automatic and must be done based on the facts in the case.

It was further highlighted that all the accused are not charged on the same set of facts and that in order to determine whether each individual bail should be varied, the clerk needed to look at the allegation against each individual and would need time.

The matter, therefore, was postponed to give the prosecution and defence time for further consultation.

Deputy Commissioner of Police Fitz Bailey, during a press conference last month, reported that the alleged fraud was masterminded by two information technology employees who manipulated the company's systems to facilitate unauthorised payments to at least 23 other employees.

The multimillion-dollar scheme is believed to have started in October 2021, days after the company's Newport West warehouse and offices were gutted by fire and resulted in losses estimated at more than $1 billion.

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