Wednesday 13 November, 2019

$34.6 million in proceeds of crime orders against two individuals

A former accounting officer of the Accountant General’s Department (AGD) and a prominent cosmetics store operator have been ordered to pay to the crown (public coffers) over $34 million  as pecuniary penalties levied for their criminal lifestyles in keeping with the Proceeds of Crime Act.

The orders were granted in the Home Circuit Court in Kingston on October 18 and 29, 2019, respectively.

A pecuniary penalty order is granted in a specific amount after the court, upon hearing evidence concerning a convicted offender’s assets and expenditure, is satisfied that the offender has benefitted in the said amount from his or her criminal lifestyle or from any specific crime.

Julio Parkinson, the former employee of the AGD was on October 18, ordered to pay the sum of $20.8 million, less just over $2 million already forfeited from two of his associates.

The allegations against him were that Parkinson conspired with others to defraud the public purse of $26.5 million when he re-activated the accounts of deceased pensioners, resulting in the AGD paying out the sum in pensions.

In September 2014, Parkinson pleaded guilty to 44 counts of obtaining money by means of false pretence, and was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment on each count. The pecuniary penalty imposed is in addition to the sentence.

On October 29, 2019, Dian Williams was ordered to pay the crown $13.9 million after the court found that she benefitted from her criminal lifestyle to that amount.

On June 30, 2015, Williams pleaded guilty to possession of and dealing in cocaine, and was fined $500,000 and $1 million, respectively. The Supreme Court found that Williams paid the fines from illicit funds, and added the sums to her Pecuniary Penalty.

The court reasoned that Williams was shown to have incurred substantial expenses over a period of time without providing any reliable evidence that the expenses were met from her legitimate earnings.

Both Parkinson and Williams have been given six months to make the payments to the crown. Default in making the payments in the time allowed is a criminal offence which attracts jail time of up to five years

The pecuniary penalty order also is not discharged by the defendant serving his or her additional sentence in this regard, and the FID may exercise its powers to seize and dispose of assets belonging to the defendant in lieu of payment.

Williams has given verbal notice of her intention to appeal the order against her.  

Chief Technical Director of the FID, Robin Sykes, says the FID intends to collect every cent of the judgments which he says represent years of hard work by the FID to identify criminal transactions and forensically separate same from any known legitimate earnings, to deprive criminals of benefits derived from crime.  

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