CAROL SMITH JOSEPH SLAPPED WITH 14 FRAUD CHARGES BY SOCU

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Carol Smith Joseph, of 99 Main Street, Hopetown, West Coast Berbice was on Wednesday, December 21, 2022 charged by the Special Organised Crime Unit with fourteen (14) indictable charges of Fraudulent Appropriation of Property of Body Corporate committed on the Mahaica Abary Rice Development Scheme (MARDS).

She appeared at the Mahaicony Magistrate Court before her Worship Ms. Marissa Mittleholzer where the charges were read to her. However she was not required to plead and was granted bail in the sum of $10,000.00 per charge, a total sum of $140,000.00.

She was represented by Attorneys-at-law Nigel Hughes and Roysdale Forde.

The cases were adjourned to 11th January 2023 for statements and 7th June 2023 for Preliminary Inquiry to commence.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

During the month of March 2022, a report was made to the Special Organized Crime Unit (SOCU) by Mahaica Abary Rice Development Scheme (MARDS) Rice Milling Complex Limited, a Private Company registered under the Companies Act. Cap 89:01 of fraudulent appropriation of funds of that company by Carol Joseph, who was a director of that company at the time. As a result of that report, SOCU commenced investigations.

During the course of the investigations it was revealed that Carol Joseph was appointed as a Director of MARDS between the period July 2015 and June 2018 by the then Minister of State of Guyana. She as a director on the Mahaica Abary Rice Development Scheme (MARDS) board, without authority, solely approved fourteen transactions amounting to GC $6,121,108.00 without the Board’s knowledge and approval between 1st June 2016 and August 2016.

The board makes all the policy decisions of MARDS and the duty to execute Board’s decision is done by MARDS General Manager. Whenever payments have to be made to any suppliers or if MARDS has to do any financial transaction, approval must be given by the Board. Based on the board’s decisions to pay, the General Manager would cause the payment to be processed by his staff and two authorized signatories of MARDS must sign a cheque of payment so that it can be encashed at Republic Bank where MARDS has a Bank Account.

These amounts were used for her personal benefits and other purposes other than that of Mahaica Abary Rice Development Scheme (MARDS’S) business. These activities were in no way associated with MARDS Rice Milling Complex.

Hence she was charged.

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