Real estate developer returns to court Feb 28 for sentencing

Real estate developer returns to court Feb 28 for sentencing

Friday, February 01, 2019

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SENTENCING for a Kingston real estate developer who allegedly collected $8.5 million from a couple as part payment under pretence that the property was being developed, has been rescheduled for February 28, in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court.

Devon Evans, who is charged with fraudulent conversion, on Wednesday had his bail extended for him to return to court next month after Queen’s Counsel Tom Tavares Finson, who is new in the matter, requested additional time to facilitate his impending plea in mitigation.

Evans of North American Holding Co Ltd, who was arrested and charged on July 23, 2017 was found guilty by Parish Judge Maxine Ellis on January 9.

The prosecution presented evidence that in 2008 the couple made a downpayment of $8.5 million to Evans on a proposed apartment unit on Wellington Drive in St Andrew, which should have been completed in 2009.

However the couple, after receiving several revised dates for the start of construction which did not materialise, demanded a refund of their deposit. The demand was not met.

Consequently, the couple reported the matter to the Real Estate Board and the police, which resulted in Evans being arrested and charged.

After his arrest, Evans offered the couple an alternative unit which required an additional payment of $7.425 million.

The couple said they unwillingly accepted to pay for the new apartment and in 2013 paid the money to Evans. However, it was not until 2016 that they were given possession of the unit.

Consequently, the court found that in dealing directly with the couple, Evans deliberately sought to take and convert $8.5 million downpayment under false pretence, given that the development never commenced and neither the developer nor his company owned the land which should have been the subject of the housing complex.

The court further found that Evans should have returned the couple’s deposit when it was requested, since no development had taken place.

— Tanesha Mundle

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