Former Petrojam GM had access to company's US account four years after leaving oil-refinery
Former Petrojam general manager Floyd Grindley.

KINGSTON, Jamaica – Four years after parting ways with Petrojam, former general manager of the state-owned oil refinery, Floyd Grindley, still had access to the entity's bank account valued at over US$18 million.

The revelation was made on Wednesday during King's Counsel KD Knight's cross-examination of the company's chief financial officer (CFO), Delroy Brown, who is a witness in the fraud trial involving Grindley and former chairman, Dr Perceval Singh.

READ: Petrojam financial officer explains fallout with GM to court

Grindley and Singh are being tried in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court in relation to the submission of claims amounting to US$73, 620 between December 2016 and May 2018. The claims were made by Dr Singh for overseas travels which were never undertaken. Grindley is alleged to have aided and abetted the ex-chairman in the process used to make the fraudulent claims.

READ: Court told travel request by Petrojam general manager ‘a bit unusual’

While he grilled the CFO about financial matters at Petrojam, Knight, who is representing Grindley, also sought to highlight his client's character. He pointed out that Grindley, no longer the general manager, was still a signatory on the account which holds enormous sums of money up to November. Knight said that he could have sought means of swindling the cash.

Knight quizzed the CFO on whether he knew that on November 8, 2022, at 9:17 am, Petrojam had a US dollar investment account of close to US$14 million and a US account valued at over US$5.3 million.

Brown was dumbfounded by Knight’s revelation.

Brown told Knight that without the documentation before him, he could not speak to the figures.

Knight probed to ascertain who had access to the accounts within or outside of Petrojam.

“Is Mr Grindley still able to officially access the Petrojam account? Would he be able to know that Petrojam’s account has over US$18 million? You don’t care that Mr Grindley has access and can open the account, meaning can go into the computer and say how much is still in the account. He could say, my name is on this account; I am a signatory to it and could fraudulently withdraw or pay bills in Petrojam’s account. Are you aware that he can open the account and use the account? Who should be blamed for that if that can happen?” he said.

Brown responded by saying that he is not the administrator of the account and that he had no clue if Grindley indeed could still access it.

“It wouldn’t open the door to fraudulent activity," he said in response to Knight’s question about Grindley's access to the account years later.

Deflecting blame from himself as head of the finance department, Brown explained that it would be the financial treasurer's responsibility to take steps to prevent a person who has left the company from still having access to bank accounts.

RELATED STORY: Petrojam CFO tells court he was punished for following rules

Jason Cross

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