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ATL pension fraud case postponed

Published:Thursday | March 15, 2012 | 12:00 AM

Barbara Gayle, Staff Reporter

Defence lawyers in the case involving three former executives who are charged with conspiracy to defraud the Appliance Traders Limited (ATL) Group Pension Fund and Gorstew Ltd complained yesterday that they were not supplied with all the relevant documents in the case.

Resident Magistrate Lorna Shelly Williams set deadlines for the prosecution to serve the documents and set the case for mention on May 17.

Attorney-at-law Garth McBean, who is prosecuting the case in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court, explained that he had difficulty collecting documents in the case and was now in the process of making further disclosures to the defence in relation to documents which were just coming in the possession of the Crown.

The accused are Patrick Lynch, former chairman of the ATL Pension Fund; Dr Jeffrey Pyne, former managing director of Gorstew Ltd; and Catherine Barber, former general manager of the ATL Pension Fund.

Trial date set

A trial date will be set when they return to court on May 17 and it is estimated that the trial will last for six weeks.

The three are accused of conspiring to have monies distributed from the surplus in the pension fund to workers and, in so doing, they allegedly benefited from the distribution.

It is further alleged that the distribution was done without the approval of Gorstew Ltd, which is the holding company for the Gordon 'Butch' Stewart-owned Jamaica Observer, ATL and the Sandals Group.

A report was made to the police in December 2010 after the alleged fraud was discovered.

The three accused have denied the allegations that they used forged documents to defraud the pension fund.

K.D. Knight and attorney-at-law John Junor are representing Pyne, while Frank Phipps represents Lynch and attorneys-at-law Valerie Neita Robertson and Deborah Martin are representing Barber.