Wednesday 16 October, 2019

Disbarred attorney, Arlean Beckford, again charged with fraud

Arlean Beckford, who was struck off the list of persons authorised to practise law in Jamaica in 2016, and was convicted of fraud charges earlier this year, has been charged for obtaining money by means of false pretence by investigators from the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA).

The disbarred attorney, who resides in Bounty Hall district, Trelawny, was granted bail on Tuesday, April 16, when she appeared in the Trelawny Parish Court.

As a condition of her bail, Beckford was ordered to report to the Wakefield Police Station every Monday.

Beckford is to return to court on November 11, 2019, when the case is next to be mentioned.

According to a release from MOCA last week, the allegations are that between March and April 2018, the complainant met and spoke with a woman only known to him as ‘Celina’, who stated that she was a sales clerk for Integrated Trade and Service Solutions, which is a company owned by Beckford.

The complainant expressed his desire to purchase one of some houses that ‘Celina’ reportedly had for sale. He was told by ‘Celina’ that he would need to make a deposit of 20 per cent of the total cost of the house, and he agreed.

A sum of $2 million was subsequently paid over to ‘Celina’ by way of a manager’s cheque to the account of Integrated Trade and Service Solutions.

However, the complainant became suspicious when he was unable to make contact with ‘Celina’ months later.

The matter was then reported to MOCA, and after investigations, it was revealed that Beckford was connected to Integrated Trade and Service Solutions.

Further investigations also unearthed that she was already before the courts for allegedly obtaining money by means of false pretence.

Beckford was contacted and a question and answer session was held in the presence of her attorney. MOCA said that during the session, she could not give a reasonable account for the money that had been deposited by the complainant in her business account.

Beckford was arrested on Thursday, April 11, and later charged.

The disbarred attorney has had several brushes with the law prior to her latest arrest on fraud charges.

In January this year, she was found guilty of fleecing a St Catherine couple of $1.8 million that they paid as a deposit on a house in 2012. The trial lasted two years in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court.

Beckford was then charged with one count of fraudulent conversion, for diverting the couple's down payment to her personal use.

Four other complaints by persons who had accused Beckford of defrauding them were, however, dismissed after prosecutors offered no further evidence in relation to those matters.

Beckford's bail was extended until April 17, 2019, when she was scheduled to be sentenced.

It is not clear if a sentence was handed down in relation to her on that date.

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