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Father, two sons on $2.3m fraud charges
A former bank manager and his two sons were released on $450,000 bail each yesterday when they appeared before a Port-of-Spain magistrate charged with conspiring to defraud British Gas of Trinidad and Tobago (BGTT) of more than $2.3 million. Pooran Rampersad, 56, a former manager at Scotia Bank’s Rushworth Street, San Fernando, branch, was not called upon to plead when he stood before Magistrate Debby-Ann Bassaw in the Tenth Court. He is jointly charged with his sons Ravi, 31, and Raval, 26. They face four charges of conspiring to defraud BGTT. Ravi was reportedly employed at BGTT as lead accountant but resigned in December 2010 at the time when a criminal investigation was launched into the accounts, police sources said.
The three accused, of Dyette Trace, Cunupia, are charged with conspiring together between January 4, 2010 and December 8, 2010 to defraud BPTT of $2,328,965. Fraud Squad detective Sgt Kent Ghisyawan laid the charges. The charges state that the alleged fraud was done by paying sums of money to Inter-Isle Safety and Solutions Ltd, by falsely pretending they provided services to BGTT and they were entitled to payment. Raval is reported to be a director of Inter-Isle. Four cheques — in the sums of $410,965, $525,000, $585,000 and $763,000 — were paid to Inter-Isle, the charges state. In granting bail, Bassaw ordered the accused to surrender their passports and report to the Cunupia Police Station on Tuesdays and Saturdays, between 6 am and 6 pm. Prosecutor Sgt Wayne Mohammed did not object to bail but asked that the conditions be imposed on the alleged fraudsters.
Attorney Michelle Solomon, in her application for bail, said her clients had “absolutely clean records”. Bassaw ordered a surety be named with the bail sum and is to be approved by the Clerk of the Peace. The accused were ordered back in court tomorrow and the matter was transferred to the First Court. The Rampersads were arrested at their home last Sunday, during an exercise by Fraud Squad officers Sgt Ghisyawan and Cpls Anthony St Clair and Deodath Seepersad. The arrest was supervised by Supt Edward Castillo and followed months of investigations.
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