Accused in education ministry fraud case ordered to surrender travel docs, report to police

Accused in education ministry fraud case ordered to surrender travel docs, report to police

BY RACQUEL PORTER
Observer staff reporter
porterr@jamaicaobserver.com

Thursday, May 30, 2019

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Parish Judge Maxine Ellis on Tuesday attached conditions to the bail previously granted to the two teachers and a salary clerk who are implicated in a multi-million dollar fraud at the Ministry of Education.

Earlier this month, Fraud Squad detectives charged 31-year-old Jermaine Saunders, a salary clerk of St Andrew Park, Kingston 10; 31-year-old Delroy Elliott, a teacher of Cheapside district, Walderston, Manchester; and 35-year-old Ruel Young, also a teacher of Morris Hall district, Rock River, Clarendon.

According to information received from the Fraud Squad, Young and Elliott were overpaid by more than $23 million between June 2017 and August 2018.

It is alleged that Saunders, who is the salary clerk for both teachers, subsequently requested the return of a percentage of the overpaid monies, which was paid to him by way of cash and bank transfer.

He, however, failed to turn the monies over to the ministry, the police said.

It is further reported that upon the request of Fraud Squad investigators, the three men turned themselves in between Tuesday, May 7 and Thursday, May 9, after which they were interviewed and charged.

They were offered bail in the sum of $400,000.

When the matter was mentioned in Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on Tuesday, the prosecutor asked that the accused surrender their travel documents and that a stop order be imposed. The prosecutor also asked for reporting conditions to be imposed.

The judge, who was curious about the sum of money that was disbursed over the period of a year, ordered that Elliott, Saunders and Young report to May Pen Police Station, Half -Way-Tree Police Station and Rock River Police Station in Clarendon, respectively on Mondays and Fridays between 6:00 am- 6:00 pm.

Meanwhile, attorney-at-law Oswest Senior-Smith told the court that he took “strong issues” with the allegation and that his client, Elliot, is not a part of any conspiracy or act.

Senior Smith further argued that it was his client and his mother who made contact with the Ministry of Education when certain information was given.

According to counsel, there are channels that will reveal that his client had nothing to do with the fraud.

Insisting that he was not accepting the allegations, Senior-Smith said over a period of time some of his client’s pay stubs were not forthcoming while some were hand-written.

The men are to return to court on September 10, 2019. By that time, the case file is expected to be complete. Disclosure is also to be made before the mention date.

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