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Granny contractor on $.75 million fraud charges

Trinidad Express / A FEMALE contractor, who allegedly went to the bank with a false cheque and document, appeared in court charged with fraud.

Grandmother Judy Lewis, 64, of Smart Street, Penal, was charged that on September 28 at the Penal branch of First Citizens Bank, with intent to defraud, she attempted to obtain from First Citizens Bank $756,257 cash, the proceeds of an FCB cheque, to pay to the order of Village Improvement Construction Company the sum drawn on the account of the Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Authority (TTCAA).

 It was alleged she falsely pretended the FCB cheque was a good and valid order for payment.

It was also alleged that on the same day at FCB, she uttered a forged document, namely a Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Authority agreement between Village Improvement Construction Company and the TTCAA for payment of $756,257 knowing same to be forged and with intent to defraud.

She faced a third charge that on September 28 she uttered a forged valuable security, an FCB cheque, to pay to the order of Village Improvement Construction Company the sum of $756,257 drawn on the account of TTCAA knowing same to be forged and with intent to defraud.

She was not called upon to plead to the indictable charges, laid by constable Kissoonsingh of the Fraud Squad.

Defence attorney Jeevan Rampersad asked Senior Magistrate Cherril-Anne Antoine to grant bail to his client. He said Lewis was a mother of seven and grandmother of 14. He said she worked as a contractor for the Forestry Division.

 Lewis said she worked “cutting bush and planting (trees)”.

Rampersad said his client, who suffered from an ulcerated stomach, was willing to accept any condition of bail imposed by the court. He said she attended church and was a “community person”.

He also said she had no previous matters before the court.

Police prosecutor Cleyon Seedan said the police had nothing on record for her.

Antoine placed her on $120,000 bail to cover the three charges. She was also placed on $20,000 cash bail.

The matter was transferred to the Siparia court for today.

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