On Friday May 15, 2020, the parish Judge presiding over the Manchester Municipal Corporation Multi-Million Dollar Fraud case handed down her verdict in the nine months long trial.
Those accused in the matter were:
- Sanjay Elliott – Acting Superintendent of Works
- David Harris – Director of Finance (Secretary Manager)
- Kendale Roberts – Works Overseer
- Dwayne Sibblies – Employee of Sanjay Elliott
- Myrtle Elliott – Mother of Sanjay Elliott
- Tashagaye Goulbourne-Elliott – Wife of Sanjay Elliott
- Radcliff McLean- Bank Teller
In early 2016, a team of investigators from the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) commenced investigation into allegations that employees of the then Manchester Parish Council were using their position to commit acts of corruption and fraud from Parish Council Contracts/Funds for their own benefits and that of others. In June 2016, detectives from MOCA, the Financial Investigations Division (FID) and officers from the then Office of the Contractor General (OCG) conducted an operation at the Corporation’s offices as well as the homes of two of the accused. During the search several documents, electronic devices, over One Million Six, Hundred Thousand Dollars ($1,600,000.00 JMD) and a large quantity of United States Dollars were seized.
As the investigation progressed, Sanja Elliott, the then Acting Superintendent of Works, and his six co-accused were arrested and charged for Conspiracy to Fraud, Possession of Criminal Property, Obtaining Money by Means of False Pretence, Uttering Forged Documents, Engaging in a Transaction that involves Criminal Property among other charges. On June 4, 2019 the accused persons appeared in the Manchester Parish Court where they all pleaded not guilty.
During the trial it was borne out that Sanjay Elliott, David Harris and Kendale Roberts devised schemes through which they were able to defraud the Corporation’s coffers of over Four Hundred Million Dollars ($400,000,000). One such scheme was the creation and approval of falsified cheques, invoices and payment vouchers generated in the names of ‘purported contractors’ that carried out work on behalf of the Council.
In a live broadcast, the presiding Parish Judge Mrs. Ann-Marie Lawrence Grainger, handed down her verdict in which she found Sanjay Elliott, Tashagaye Goulbourne-Elliott, David Harris, Kendale Roberts and Dwayne Sibbles guilty. However, Myrtle Elliott and Radcliff McLean were found not guilty. The five convicts remained on bail and will return to court on Monday, July 27, 2020 when they are to be sentenced.
MOCA wishes to thank the many individuals who provided support and commitment to the investigation and, particularly, those who provided witness statements and testimony.
As a multi-million dollar fraud and corruption case, the investigation was both protracted and complex, requiring methodical analysis of huge amounts of financial material, communications data and other investigative materials. It demanded tenacity, professionalism and dedication from the Agency’s staff members and strategic partners from the Financial Investigation Division (FID), former Office of Contractor General (OCG) and Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP).
MOCA will continue to work relentlessly, in collaboration with its partners, to jointly tackle and disrupt major organised criminal networks that corrupt public and private institutions.
MOCA also wishes to remind members of the public who may have any information that could assist in any investigation to call MOCA at 876-906-6318, 876-906-5848 or 1-800-CORRUPT or by email at email@example.com More information is on the MOCA.gov.jm website or visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/MOCAJamaica and follow MOCA on Twitter @MOCAJamaica.