September date for 8 charged for NHT fraud
BY PAUL HENRY Crime/Court Desk co-ordinator firstname.lastname@example.org
KINGSTON, Jamaica — The eight accused implicated in a case of fraud at the National Housing Trust (NHT) that has affected the accounts of Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, and two former PMs, will next appear in court on September 4.
The date was set when they appeared in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court today.
The eight are NHT employee Ann-Marie Connallie, her daughter Chantel Connallie, Andrew Williamson, Tasha-Gay Slater, Luis Mills, Christoph Madden, Rachelle Bryan, and Rania Bonner.
They are facing a slew of charges, including conspiracy to defraud and causing money to be paid out by means of false pretence.
A total of 19 accounts were affected, including those of Simpson Miller; former Prime Minister PJ Patterson; Audley Shaw, the former finance minister in the previous Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) Government; and former JLP member of parliament Michael Stern.
On June 7, Clifford Chambers, the superintendent in charge of the Fraud Squad, told the Jamaica Observer that a little over $200,000 was alleged taken from Patterson’s account. Shaw’s account, it is alleged, was raided of $133,000. The prime minister’s account allegedly had $82,000 taken from it, while that of Stern allegedly had $67,000 taken.
Nineteen accounts were allegedly raided multiple times over a two-year period, starting in 2010, and lost just over $1 million.
A recent newscast said that the account of former Prime Minister Andrew Holness was also affected.