Court points to lavish lifestyle of main accused in Manchester fraud trial

Court points to lavish lifestyle of main accused in Manchester fraud trial

Observer writer

Friday, January 17, 2020

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PORUS, Manchester — The Crown yesterday highlighted an alleged 'lavish lifestyle' of Sanja Elliott, the former deputy superintendent of road and works and main accused in the Manchester Municipal Corporation multimillion-dollar fraud trial.

On the third day of its closing arguments in the Porus Court, the prosecution asked that comparisons be made between large transactions, in credit card deposits and expenditures, cash spendings in both US and local currencies, in Jamaica and overseas, and the salary of Elliott before and after he was promoted to deputy superintendent of road and works.

The Crown claimed that Elliott's salary from the Corporation between 2008 and 2016 — when he was arrested — totalled just over $14 million after statutory deductions, and was incapable of supporting the lifestyle he led between 2013 and 2016, when he was arrested.

The Crown continued to provide evidence to support its claim that Elliott, two co-workers, his gardener, family members, including his wife and parents and a bank teller, were part of a conspiracy that misappropriated funds from the corporation of up to $400 million.

The prosecution questioned how a salary of a deputy superintendent of road and works, with no other identified source of significant earnings, what else could be the source of the wealth amassed by himself and family in just about three years, except for the proceeds of the alleged unlawful conduct identified in the indictment.

At the time of his arrest in 2016, Elliott, the prosecution claimed, had a net worth of more than $255 million, owned six motor vehicles — three Honda motor cars, a Honda Ridgeline SUV, a Suzuki Jimny SUV, and several pieces of real estate. The prosecution said that he was simultaneously making large cash deposits into several bank accounts while paying out cash in large amounts in the construction of two residences.

His parents Elwardo and Myrtle and his wife Tashagay, who are also before the court, were identified by the Crown as part of the conspiracy. They are charged with the retention of criminal property, accused of withdrawing money from Elliott's accounts, after his arrest. In the case of his father Elwardo, the Crown said he and his son were owners of real estate deemed to be criminal property.

The other defendants before the court are former municipal corporation employees David Harris and Kendale Roberts, bank teller Radcliffe McLean; and Dwayne Sibblies and Sanja Elliott's, employees of the corporation.

The Crown continues it submissions today.

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