An eight-page indictment crafted by prosecutors has alleged that over a 42-month period, starting in June 2013, Sanja Elliott, a former official at the Manchester Municipal Corporation (MMC), his wife, and parents conducted a series of multimillion-dollar transactions, including purchases of five properties in the parish.
The indictment is part of the fraud trial for Elliott, the former deputy superintendent of roads and works at the municipal corporation, who is accused of conspiring with his then colleagues – David Harris, former secretary/manager, and Kendale Roberts, temporary works overseer – to defraud the local government authority of more than $400 million through the use of fictitious invoices.
Elliott’s wife, Tashagay, and his parents, Edwardo and Myrtle, are also on trial before the Manchester Parish Court, along with Dwayne Sibbles, a carpenter, and Radcliffe McLean, a bank teller accused of facilitating the encashment of cheques prepared based on the alleged fictitious invoices.
All eight have pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to defraud, obtaining money by means of false pretences, possession of criminal property, engaging in a transaction that involves criminal property, and facilitating the retention of criminal property.
The indictment indicates that the first transaction conducted by Sanja Elliott happened between June and September 2013, when he allegedly unlawfully obtained $4.3 million, which he lodged to an account held in his name at a financial institution.
Months later, between March 2014 and November 2014, according to the document, he “unlawfully obtained” $10.4 million, which was lodged to the same financial institution. “At such time of such deposit, you [Elliott] knew, or had reasonable grounds to believe, that said sum was criminal property,” it said.
Between December 2, 2014, and April 21, 2016, according to the indictment, Sanja Elliott purchased “lots 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9, being parts of lands in Hatfield, Manchester”.
The indictment charges, too, that on March 19 that same year, the former local official and his father purchased lands in Knockpatrick, Manchester, and that between April 1 and December 31, 2014, he “did possess” $12.2 million.
His mother, Myrtle, is accused of purchasing lands in Daley Grove in April 2014. “At the time of facilitating the retention of said land, you knew, or had reasonable grounds to believe, that the property was criminal property,” the document said.
She is also accused of withdrawing a total of $2 million between June 28 and July 8, 2016, from an account jointly held with her son at another financial institution.
Tashagay Elliott, the indictment claims, withdrew $2.2 million from a financial institution over a 10-day period between June 27 and July 7, 2016.
Yesterday, former Manchester Deputy Mayor Ervin Facey identified for prosecutors 18 cheques, made payable to one Aldaine Foster, which were drawn on the account of the Manchester Municipal Corporation.
They were among 50 cheques identified by Facey.
The trial continues today.