The Police say they are pursuing several other criminal investigations involving high-profile real estate attorney, Jennifer Messado.
The disclosure was made when Messado and her co-accused, Beverley Barrakat, appeared in the Corporate Area Criminal Court today. Both women were granted bail this afternoon and are expected to be released today. Messado and Barrakat are to re-appear in Court on July 3.
Clerk of the Court, Hansurd Lawson, told Presiding Judge, Maxine Ellis, that Jennifer Messado is accused of selling without permission a property owned by a church.
Allegations are that the real estate attorney sold the property and collected a down payment of USD$270,000. The agreement for sale says Messado intended to sell the property for USD$1.8-million.
The Clerk told the Court that two witnesses, who Messado alleged signed the agreement for sale, have given statements to the Police to the contrary.
Beverley Barrakat, who’s 72 years old, is accused of contacting the purchaser in a bid to advance the alleged criminal transaction.
The Clerk said the Police have no objection to Barrakat being granted bail. Judge Ellis offered Barrakat bail in the sum of $50,000.
Police Investigators led by Assistant Commissioner Fitz Bailey opposed bail for Messado.
According to the Clerk, the Police were against bail for Messado because there are other criminal investigations into her conduct and its believed she may interfere in the process.
The Clerk says the Police have intelligence which show that Messado may have been making plans to flee Jamaica. But, Messado’s Attorney, Christopher Townsend says he heard of allegations his client may be trying to fly to Costa Rica. Mr Townsend says those claims are untrue.
Messado shook her head and grinned when Mr. Townsend mentioned that allegation. Mr. Townsend further made the case for bail by commenting that his 68-year-old client isn’t well. He argued that bail should be granted on humanitarian grounds.
Judge Ellis offered bail to Messado in the sum of $800,000. She was ordered to surrender her travel documents and show up at the Constant Spring Police station on a daily basis. An order was made for her fingerprints to be taken.
Messado was told not to leave home before 6:00 in the morning and to be back by 6:00 in the evening.
During deliberations this morning – the Clerk also told the Court that Messado had paid back US 1-hundred-and-90-thousand of the USD$270,000 which he says she took.
Justice Ellis also called on the Police to quickly complete the case file and enable prosecutors to make a full declaration to Messado’s defence team.
Earlier – a tired looking Messado, who wore a black dress was led into the dock at 10:28 this morning. She was handcuffed to Barrakat.
About 15 family members and friends of Messado attended Court to offer support.
When the case was dismissed for the day and Messado was being led out of the dock, an Attorney who was in the Courtroom watching the proceedings, Tamika Harris, said to her – “Messado a want mi money – weh mi money deh!?”.
Messado had a weary smile but didn’t comment. She was then led away by the Police to await the processing of her bail.
And Jennifer Messado’s Attorney Christopher Townsend, says her defence team is ready to respond to the allegations of fraud against her if they are placed before the court.
Meanwhile, Messado and a female friend of hers sparred with a Policewoman today while her case was being heard before Judge Ellis.
The Policewoman intervened after Messado, turned around several times and conversed with her family members while she was in the dock.
The policewoman told her – “Ma’am, that is not allowed while you are in the dock”. A female friend of Messado gestured to the Policewoman to leave the accused attorney alone.
The Policewoman did not reply to the female friend but told Messado – “it’s not my Court or my rule, others have to obey and you are going to obey as well”
The Policewoman further told Messado to stand with her hands by her side and face the Judge in silence. Messado complied then briefly placed her left hand on her forehead.