Mon | Dec 11, 2023

Grindley removed himself from Petrojam bank accounts – Lawyer

Published:Friday | December 2, 2022 | 1:45 PM
Former Petrojam general manager Floyd Grindley is being tried in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on fraud charges.

While Petrojam awaits word from its bank on the status of former general manager Floyd Grindley as a signatory to the two of the company's multimillion-dollar US accounts, it was this morning disclosed that he has removed himself from the entity's accounts.

Grindley's lawyer King's Counsel K.D Knight today disclosed that he had taken steps to remove himself as a signatory from November 8 when he found out that he was still connected to them.

According to Knight, his client made the discovery when he checked his own personal account at Jamaica Money Market Brokers (JMMB) on November 8, and of his "own volition" sought to disassociate himself.

But, Petrojam's chief financial officer, Delroy Brown, said he was not aware of those actions.

Grindley, who resigned from the stated-owned oil refinery in July 2018, and former chairman Dr Perceval Bahado-Singh are being tried in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court on fraud charges in relation to overseas travel allowances amounting to US$73,620.

On Wednesday, Knight, while crossing-examining Brown, made the shocking claim that his client was able to view two of the company's accounts and saw the totals, which together valued more than US$19 million up to November 8.

Brown, who had denied that Grindley was still a signatory, yesterday indicated that based on the notices that were sent to the bank in 2019 and 2020, Grindley was not among the signatories.

He also indicated that checks were being made at the company to ensure that there were no errors on the part of the company and that he had taken measures to ensure that Grindley was removed.

Asked today what further steps he had taken, Brown testified that the bank was contacted and that the company is awaiting word from the financial institution.

"Our records have nothing of the sort that he still associated with the accounts evidenced by the letters we have sent to the bank in 2019 and 2020," he explained.

The finance department head, who had distanced himself from the blunder, previously told the court that while it was the financial treasurer's duty to ensure that Grindley's access was lifted, the ultimate responsibility is with the company's general manager.

Bahado-Singh and Grindley are being tried on fraudulent conversion, aiding and abetting fraudulent conversion, and conspiracy to defraud charges.

Grindley is also charged with obtaining valuable security by false pretense contrary to Section 35 of the Larceny Act.

The former Petrojam chairman is alleged to have submitted claims amounting to US$73,620, between November 2016 and July 2018, for overseas travel he did not make.

Grindley is alleged to have aided and abetted the then chairman in that process.

- Tanesha Mundle

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