Doctor rejects claim SSL fraud accused had seizures, stroke in custody Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

A male doctor assigned to the Department of Correctional Services (DCS) is denying assertions that former wealth advisor at Stocks and Securities Limited (SSL), Jean-Ann Panton, suffered a stroke and seizure while in custody on fraud charges relative to the investment firm.

The suggestion of Panton’s medical complications following her last court hearing in February, were made by her new attorney, Sylvester Hemmings, during a bail application in the Home Circuit Court on Wednesday.

Panton was previously represented by attorney Tamika Harris.

The ex-SSL employee is charged with various breaches of the Larceny Act, the Proceeds of Crime Act (POCA), the Forgery Act, and the Cyber Crimes Act.

During the bail hearing before High Court Judge, Justice Vinette Graham-Allen, Hemmings argued that his client’s health needs should be prioritised at this time.

He said after bail was initially denied for his client in February, she had seizures and suffered a stroke.

Hemmings also claimed that medical personnel at the correctional facility where Panton is in custody had tried to extract blood samples from Panton, but they were unsuccessful, as no vein could be found.

He also claimed that Panton’s nutrition while in custody, was poor, and she had not been receiving physiotherapy sessions that are required following surgery last August.

But the prosecution challenged the attorney’s suggestion that his client’s medical needs were not being safeguarded while she has been remanded.

A prosecutor said Panton had her physiotherapy session on Tuesday of this week.

The crown then called the medical doctor at the correctional facility to the witness stand, to testify about the medical care that is being given to Panton.

He admitted that Panton had reported to him on February 28 of having a seizure days before, but he said after examining her, no seizure-like activity was observed.

In relation to a stroke, the doctor testified that he saw no indication that Panton had any paralysis, which is usually seen in persons who have such medical issues.

Further, he said based on his observations, the accused woman suffered no loss of speech, or any other stroke-related complication.

The bail hearing is expected to continue on Thursday.

Panton is a suspect in the joint investigation by the Financial Investigations Division (FID) and the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s (JCF’s) Fraud Squad into alleged fraudulent activities at SSL.

She was charged on February 17, 2023, and had her first court appearance that same day.

The former wealth advisor, who has more than 20 years of experience, had reportedly confessed to taking money from clients’ accounts without their consent.

At least 30 investors, including sprint legend Usain Bolt, have been impacted, but up to February, the police had not indicated whether the retired sprinter had given a witness statement to them.