Bail extended for INSPORTS fraud accused Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Prosecutors have disclosed that they intend to rely on the evidence of some 50 witnesses during an estimated three-month-long trial relative to the $222 million fraud scheme that was allegedly committed at the Institute of Sports (INSPORTS).

A trial date is expected to be set when the six accused persons, including popular party promoter Andrew Wright, popularly known as ‘Andrew French’, who were all charged in relation to the alleged fraud racket, return to the Home Circuit Court in downtown Kingston on January 18.

The developments occurred when the case was mentioned in court on Thursday.

Wright and his five co-accused – Rudolph Barnes, Oneil Hope, Jonnique Mills, Andrea Picton and Sherene Ferguson, all had their bails extended until January.

The six accused are said to have been part of a team of present and former employees of INSPORTS who allegedly wrote, signed and encashed fraudulent cheques for payees who were neither employees nor contracted workers of the Government agency.

The alleged fraudulent activities reportedly occurred between 2011 and 2017, the police said.

The suspected fraud and other irregularities were detected by INSPORTS in 2017 during an examination of the agency’s financial records.

The matter was then reported to the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA), triggering an investigation.

Wright, who was employed as the financial controller at the agency at the time of the alleged fraud, was among the first set of accused to be charged relative to the case, along with Hope and Barnes.

They were charged with various offences, including conspiracy to defraud, acquisition, use and possession of criminal property, engaging in transactions involving criminal property, and larceny as a servant.

MOCA subsequently arrested and charged Jonnique Mills and Andrea Picton, the latter being a current employee at INSPORTS, with conspiracy to defraud.

Mills is facing an additional charge of forgery.