The Defence Force has agreed to release two soldiers who have been detained for over three weeks as part of a probe into a $2 million payroll scam.
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Vicky charged with money laundering
Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Businesswoman Vicky Boodram became the first person to be charged with money laundering under the Proceeds of Crime Act (2000) yesterday when she appeared in the San Fernando Magistrates Court accused of committing over $2 million in fraud.
Boodram, 30, of Siparia, was refused bail and advised of her right to apply to a judge in chambers for bail when she appeared before acting deputy Chief Magistrate Rajendra Rambachan accused of using ill-gotten funds to buy real property and a Mercedes Benz. She was remanded into custody for the five indictable offences which date from 2007 to 2010. Boodram, a former singer, was arrested last week Wednesday by officers of the Financial Investigations Branch, Port-of-Spain. Rambachan read the charges, which alleged that, on or about October 18, 2010, at San Fernando, Boodram disposed of $2,045,000 in cash in whole or in part by purchasing a house and land at Lazzari Lands, Palmiste, knowing or suspecting it was the proceeds derived from her having committed a specified offence, to with the obtaining of the said sum in cash with intent to defraud and by virtue of a forged instrument, that is, a Wells Fargo Bank irrevocable standby letter of credit, dated July 22, 2010, knowing the same to be forged, in contravention of section 10 (a) of the Forgery Act Chapter 11:13 and contrary to Section 43 of Proceeds of Crime Act (2000) Chapter 11:27 as amended.
She is also accused that on or about September 17, 2010 at San Fernando she disposed of $629,042.25 cash in whole or part by purchasing an E-Class Mercedes Benz, PCR 4200, knowing or suspecting that it was the proceeds derived from her having committed a specified offence, to wit the obtaining of the said sum in cash with intent to defraud and by virtue of a forged instrument, that is, a Wells Fargo Bank irrevocable standby letter of credit, dated July 22, 2010, knowing the same to be forged, in contravention of section 10 (a) of the Forgery Act Chapter 11:13 and contrary to Section 43 of Proceeds of Crime Act (2000) Chapter 11:27 as amended. Boodram was also charged with two counts of uttering forged documents at First Citizens, High Street, Siparia, on August 29, 2007, namely two job letters from Umi Recruiting Service and a job letter from the Export/Import Bank of Trinidad and Tobago, contrary to the Fraud Act. She was also charged with intent to defruad by obtaining, causing or procuring a $50,000 limit credit card from FCB by virtue of three forged documents, namely two job letters from Umi Recruiting Service and a job letter from the Export/Import Bank of Trinidad and Tobago. The charges arose out of Boodram’s failed cruise.
The charges were laid by Constable Brian Joseph of the Financial Investigations Branch. Boodram was not called upon to plead. She will reappear tomorrow in the San Fernando Magistrates Court and on Friday in the Siparia Magistrates Court for three of the five offences. Defence attorney Jason Jackson applied for bail but court prosecutor Ramdath Phillip objected. Phillip said a namecheck trace on Boodram showed she had 19 pending matters in 2011. He said a fingerprint trace was not accompanying the namecheck trace. He asked for an opportunity to do a fingerprint trace on Boodram to determine if she had more pending matters or if she committed any other offences while on bail. Jackson protested. He said Boodram admitted to the 19 pending matters and the police had sufficient time to do a trace since she was arrested last Wednesday. He said when the investigation into the allegations of fraud started in 2011 and she had surrendered her passport she had not absconded. Jackson said the new charges could have been laid at the same time of the 19 other offences last year since the offences arose out of two transactions. However, Rambachan queried: “The Forgery Act crimes should have come before the Proceeds of Crime Act? The characteristic of the charge is completely different.”