A 64-year-old woman from Penal appeared in the San Fernando Magistrates’ court yesterday charged with $.07 million in bank fraud. Judy Lewis of Smart Street, appeared before Senior Magistrate Cherril-Anne Antoine who read a charge that at First Citizen Bank (FCB) in Penal, she attempted to obtain $756,259, as the proceeds of a cheque dated September 12, 2017, to pay to the Village Improvement Construction Company of Lachoos Road, Penal.
The charge alleged that Lewis attempted to draw the money from the account of the Trinidad and Tobago Civil Aviation Authority (TTCAA) by falsely pretending the cheque which she presented, was a good and valid order for the said amount.
Antoine read a second charge to Lewis that on the same day at FCB, she tendered a forged document namely a cheque from the TTCAA, made to the Village Improvement Construction Company, for payment of $756,259 knowing same to be forged. A third charge alleged that Lewis uttered a forged valuable security - an FCB cheque dated September 12, 2017, knowing same to be forged.
The magistrate told Lewis that the charges were laid indictably and she was therefore not called upon to offer a plea. Attorney Jeevan Andrew Rampersad represented Lewis, whom he said, is a sub-contractor, a mother of seven and grandmother of 14. The charge was laid following the arrest of Lewis at her home in Penal.
The attorney pleaded for bail, saying Lewis had no previous or pending case. Antoine asked whether any of the cash was ever transferred to the account of the defendant, but the prosecutor PC Cleyon Seedan said the cheque was never cashed and no money placed into Lewis’ account.
Antoine granted Lewis $120,000 bail and the charges were transferred to the Siparia Magistrate’s court where the defendant will appear today.