Disbarred attorney on fraud rap offered bail

Disbarred attorney on fraud rap offered bail

Observer staff reporter

Thursday, April 18, 2019

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A former attorney who reportedly collected US$16,366.62 for a property that was not hers to sell was Tuesday offered $2 million bail when she appeared in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court.

The Wakefield, Trelawny, resident, Arlene Beckford, who is charged with obtaining money by false pretence and conspiracy to defraud, was offered bail after her attorney, Michael Williams, told Parish Judge Maxine Ellis that his client was sick and should have been taken to the doctor by the police but hadn't been.

Williams told the court that the doctor had visited his client on Monday night and had left a referral with the police for her to be taken to see the doctor.

“I am actually surprised that she is here today,” he told the judge while adding that she had been in the hospital prior to her arrest last Wednesday.

Consequently, the judge offered her bail on condition that she report to the Wakefield Police Station every Monday, and also ordered that she be taken immediately to see the doctor.

However, before she was granted bail, the court heard that between March 2016 and April 2016, the accused, who is the director in a company, reportedly defrauded the complainant of US$16,366.62 by pretending that she was capable of selling a plot of land at Blue Castle in Mona, Kingston, to the complainant knowing that she was not authorised so to act.

The court further heard that she reportedly conspired with another person who the police are trying to locate.

Additionally, the court was informed that the accused had reportedly signed a sales agreement but that the real owner of the property had neither given anyone permission to sell it nor was aware of the sale.

After the allegations were outlined, Williams told the judge that he was unable to say much as he had not received disclosure in the matter.

However, Ellis told him that he should at least be able to respond to the narrow issues, such as whether or not she owned the property or had authority to sell; if she had collected the money; and whether or not she had signed the sales agreement.

Williams, in response, said that the only thing he had was a receipt for the sale of a completely different property.

The judge then asked him who the owner of that property was, but he indicated that he did not know.

“If you are saying you got a receipt for a different property, don't you see it gets murkier and murkier, Alice in Wonderland?” the judge commented.

Williams, however, told the court that steps are being taken to refund the money to the complainant.

Beckford was struck off the list of individuals authorised to practise law in Jamaica in 2016.

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