Court freezes LATT employee’s bank accounts

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

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A HIGH Court judge has frozen the bank accounts of an employee of the Law Association.

The order was made on August 9, by Justice Ricky Rahim after the association reported close to $300,000 missing from its accounts over a period of nine months.

The court’s order prevents the account from removing or disposing of any assets.

The accounts that were frozen are two RBC Royal Bank accounts in the employee’s name and that of a business.

The order also said the monies transferred from the association’s accounts into the employee’s account are to be held in trust for the association. The employee was also ordered to prepare and file accounts relative to assets in TT giving the value, location and detail of them to the association in 48 hours.

The claim was also deemed fit for an urgent hearing during the court’s vacation period.

The lawsuit filed by the association to recover its funds will be heard by Justice Carol Gobin on August 17 at a court at the Waterfront Judicial Centre, Port of Spain.

Attorneys Kiel Taklalsingh and Kavita Roop Boodoo are representing the association.

According to the application which Newsday has obtained, it is alleged that funds were misappropriated from the association and transferred to a personal account. The order to freeze the employee’s accounts was sought because of fears the funds may be dissipated, preventing the association from recovering them.

It was also alleged that cheques for varying sums of close to $50,000 were deposited into an account while duplicates in the association’s chequebook showed those cheques were made payable to different payees for smaller amounts. It is the association’s contention that cheques were made out to legitimate vendors and after approvals were given and the cheques were signed by the authorised signatories, they were altered to effect payment to a personal account.

In 2012, large sums of money were discovered missing from its accounts. In a statement to members, the association, at the time, said accounts for the financial year ending January 31, 2012, had revealed huge sums drawn on the association’s account and compensation fund could not be accounted for. They amounted to $284,696.

Newsday was told the association’s council was expected to meet in an emergency session yesterday and a notice was expected to be sent out to members.

The association has also called in the Fraud Squad which has started an investigation.