Crown says case file in education ministry fraud matter now ready

The prosecution says it has completed the case file clearing the way for the two teachers and salary clerk implicated in a multi-million dollar fraud at the Ministry of Education to be tried.

In May, 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, 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 station bail in the sum of $400,000.

However, when they appeared in court on May 28, 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 enforced.

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, in Clarendon, Half-Way-Tree Police Station in St Andrew, and Rock River Police Station in Clarendon, respectively on Mondays and Fridays between 6:00 am and 6:00 pm.

Disclosure is expected to be made on or before September 30, 2019.

The men are to return to court on October 23.

By that time, their attorneys are expected to indicate to the court whether or not they will be going to trial or if any document is outstanding.