Accounting Clerk to Take the Stand in Manchester MC $400 Million Fraud Trial; Again

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The second week of the Manchester Municipal Corporation corruption trial is expected to get started today in the Manchester Parish Court, where an accounting clerk, who had been on the stand last Tuesday afternoon, is likely to resume testimony. The witness, who is the fifth to take the stand, is being cross-examined as the labour continues through 112 documents served as evidence, along with invoices and vouchers, to authenticate information such as signatures and handwriting. When the case was adjourned on Friday, 49 documents had been left to be reviewed.

The trial started in 2016, when a joint raid by the Financial Investigations Division (FID), the Office of the Contractor General and the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) of the corporate offices of the Municipal Corporation and houses of few senior employees prompted arrests and allegations pertaining to exploitation of funds. In the previous week, prosecutors claimed that the volume of money in question, which MOCA earlier stated was $95 million, has now increased to about $400 million.

Erstwhile representatives of the corporation currently on trial are Sanja Elliott, who was employed as Deputy Superintendent of the Road and Works Department; an acting Secretary-Manager and Director of Finance David Harris; and a temporary works supervisor Kendale Roberts. Former bank employee Radcliffe McLean, Elliott’s employee Dwayne Sibblies, Elliot’s wife Tasha-Gay Goulbourne-Elliott, his mother Myrtle Elliott and father Elwardo Elliott were under suspicion in the investigation and are now on trial as well.

Testimony from the Witnesses

Retired Mandeville Mayor and Chairman of the Manchester Municipal Corporation, Brenda Ramsay, was among the witnesses who had taken the stand last week. The clerk, who is to take the stand again today, is supposed to have been the main accounting clerk from 2013 to 2016, a crucial testimony for the case. The witness‘ testimony disclosed that a critical amount of the documents under scrutiny were signed by Sanja Elliott, Kendal Roberts and herself. A few of the payments made were for the work done in different council divisions as well.

Next witness to testify is former Deputy Mayor, Ervin Facey. The lineup of expected witnesses is anticipated to decrease from 59. The trial is nonetheless expected to continue past the two weeks as planned at the beginning. The Presiding Judge in the case is Ann-Marie Grainger.

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