Jamaica: No work but woman given 41 cheques valued at $15 million

An associate of former deputy superintendent at the Road and Works Department at the Manchester Municipal Corporation Sanja Elliott testified in court yesterday that she had encashed approximately 41 cheques, amounting to about $15 million from the local government body for work not done.

The young woman told the court that she had met Elliott at a gym around the period 2013-2014. A general conversation, she testified, ensued and one day while he was giving her a ride home he asked for her full name and taxpayer registration number (TRN), with the promise of finding her a job.

She said the job did not come to fruition but she started to receive cheques drawn on the account of Manchester Municipal Corporation.

The witness, who is the eighth in the trial to date, said she would encash the cheques at either of the branches of a financial institution with two locations in Mandeville.

She said that she gave the money to Elliott and another accused now on trial, Dwayne Sibblies, who was employed to Elliott, or another person, as instructed by Elliott.

She said Elliott would give her a call each time a cheque was ready and instructions about what to do with it.

She said a cheque could be as low as $10,000 or as high as about $490,000.

Eight accused are now before the Manchester Parish Court on trial for the alleged excess of misappropriation of $400 million from the corporation.

Another witness, who said she was a friend of Elliott, testified last Friday that she had encashed a cheque in her name from the corporation but that she has never done work there or for the entity.

She said that, as instructed by Elliott, she had given the cheque to Sibblies, who had taken her to the bank to conduct the $300,000 transaction. Sibblies had allegedly given the money to Elliott.

The witness from Friday continued giving testimony yesterday, when she was cross-examined by Elliott’s attorney Norman Godfrey.

She appeared in court with her attorney yesterday but was not represented when she first gave testimony last Friday.

The witness, who ended her testimony yesterday, last Friday identified approximately one dozen contractor’s invoices with her name, signature and TRN, for work not done.

Invoices, the court has heard, included payments for beautification projects which were not done.