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Bank teller testifies in Cuban light bulb trial

BY KARYL WALKER Editor — Crime/Court Desk walkerk@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, December 04, 2013    

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A bank teller testified yesterday that Colleen Wright deposited $4.5 million at the Santa Cruz branch of the Jamaica National Building Society as the fraud trial of Wright and former junior energy minister Kern Spencer continued in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court.

Spencer and Wright were charged after irregularities were discovered in the distribution of energy-saving light bulbs that were a gift from the Cuban Government.

The teller, D'waine Clarke, said Wright visited the branch on August 7, 2007 with $500,000 and requested that a fixed deposit account be set up in her name.

"She indicated that she had a portion of the money to open the account. That was $500,000. She said she would return with the balance later on that day," Clarke said while being examined by Director of Public Prosecutions Paula Llewellyn.

Clarke also testified that Wright returned later that day with $3.5 million in cash.

As the teller gave evidence ,Wright stared in his direction and shook her head slowly, while Spencer looked on with a blank stare.

Clarke said he then asked her the source of the funds and she indicated it came from an account in another financial institution.

He said Wright also requested a loan of $3 million and she was given $1.2 million and a cheque in the sum of $1.8 million made out to the Helpline Company.

Clarke also testified that Wright returned to the bank some time after and requested that Spencer's mother, Peggy Ewan-Spencer, be added to the account as a joint holder.

The witness also told the court that he gave two cheques, valued at US$30,000 each, to one Everol Orr that were made payable to the failed ponzi scheme OLINT.

However, the prosecution has not yet indicated how the cheques and Orr are related to the fraud trial.

The trial is being presided over by Senior Magistrate Judith Pusey and is expected to continue today.

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