A massive fraud scheme spanning some three years at the Manchester Municipal Corporation has this afternoon resulted in the conviction of 5 persons including former local government officials.
The hearing to hand down a verdict in the 4-hundred million-dollar fraud scheme was streamed live today with Parish Judge, Ann Marie Grainger delivering the judgment.
Former Superintendent of Roads and Works at the Corporation, Sanjay Elliot, the mastermind behind the fraud scheme, his former employee Dwayne Sibblies, Acting CEO David Harris and Temporary Works Overseer Kendale Roberts have all been found guilty.
Elliot’s wife Tasha-Gaye has also been found guilty.
Elliot’s mother, Myrtle and a former bank teller, Radcliffe McLean are the other two defendants who’ve been set free.
The trial before the Manchester Parish Court started last year.
The keenly watched hearing lasted over 4 hours today.
Judge Grainger over the period reviewed the Crown’s allegations and case and the defendant’s unsworn statements.
She also examined the credibility of four of the Crown’s witnesses and accepted them as being credible.
The seven accused were before the courts answering to 25 counts in total.
It was in relation to allegations that Elliott, McLean and Sibblies, over a 3-year period between 2013 and 2016, conspired to process fraudulent cheques, which were then withdrawn from the municipal corporation’s bank account.
The others who were allegedly involved in the scheme were later charged.
Judge Grainger ruled today that Elliot, Harris and Roberts had all knowingly participated in the scheme.
The Presiding Parish Judge says in relation to Sibblies, evidence led by the Crown showed that he conspired with Elliot in the fraud scheme.
The fifth guilty verdict was handed down in relation to Elliot’s wife, Tasha-Gaye.
Judge Grainger says based on inference, it was concluded that Mrs. Elliot knew the property and items she obtained were purchased with cash derived from the criminal conduct of her husband.
The five are expected to be sentenced on Monday, July 27.
They all remain on bail with conditions.
Meanwhile, in handing down her judgement, Judge Grainger found Elliot guilty of 17 of the 25 counts brought by the Crown.
She ruled that Elliot and his co-conspirators, Harris and Roberts, were all guilty of conspiracy to defraud.
Elliot was also found guilty of five other counts of conspiracy to defraud.
Sibblies has also been found guilty of conspiracy to defraud.
Elliot was also found guilty of three counts of engaging in transactions that involved criminal property.
While being found not guilty in relation to the ownership of his home, Elliot was found guilty of four other counts of possession of criminal property.
He was also found guilty of two other counts.
His wife, Tasha-Gaye Golbourne Elliot was found guilty of two counts.
Elliot and his co-conspirators Harris and Roberts were also found guilty of an act of corruption.
Ann Marie Grainger, Parish Judge, speaking today while delivering the verdict via live audio stream.
Elliot’s mother, Myrtle and former Bank Teller, Radcliffe McLean were set free after it could not be proven that they hand any knowledge of the criminal enterprise.
In the meantime, anti-corruption activist and Executive Director of the National Integrity Action, NIA, Professor Trevor Munroe, is hailing the ruling.
He says justice has been served.
Anti-Corruption Activist Hails Ruling
Professor Munroe says he’s confident that today’s verdict will have a positive impact on Jamaica’s standing on the Corruption Perception Index.
That is why the NIA boss is calling for other corruption cases like the Petrojam matter, to be brought swiftly before the courts.
Professor Trevor Munroe, Anti-corruption Activist and Executive Director of the National Integrity Action, speaking this afternoon with Nationwide News.