Five people appeared before the Scarborough Magistrates' Court on Thursday morning charged with conspiracy to defraud using fake cheques drawn on a dead man's account.
Over ten cheques were made out from an account in the name of murder victim John Mills, totalling $400,000. They were cashed between February 12 and April 12 at the Tobago branch of the Unit Trust Corporation. After the money was withdrawn, UTC staff discovered the five people in whose names the cheques were written were not entitled to the funds.
On Friday police charged Nicholas Davis, 26, of Cocrico Avenue, Buccoo, Mills's neighbour, and Cleopatra James of Calder Hall, Scarborough, both former employees of UTC Tobago. Also charged were Cammie Smith, 29, Dion Crosby, 25, and Kennesha Williams, 30. They appeared before senior magistrate Indrani Cedeno and were remanded into custody.
The group was denied bail after the prosecutor made the recommendation because the group is currently assisting homicide police in another matter. They will reappear before the Scarborough court today.
Newsday was told two other people, Ashana Pritchard of Mango Alley, Hilltop Park, Laventille, and Jerome Hernandez of Carnbee, appeared in the Port of Spain Magistrates' Court on Wednesday. They were charged with attempting to obtain $205,380 by false pretence using Mills’ death certificate on July 8, claiming to be beneficiaries of his account, at the UTC Port of Spain branch. They were put on $250, 000 bail and will reappear on August 23.
Over the last two weeks, the Tobago Homicide and Fraud Squads, assisted by other police units, were involved in an operation both in Trinidad and Tobago which led to the arrests and charges against the seven.
Two were held in Crown Point heading to the airport with tickets for flights to Amsterdam.
John Mills and his common-law wife Eulyn John were found stabbed, with their hands and feet bound and mouths gagged, in their bedroom at their Cocrico Avenue home on May 2. Their nephew Moyshe Alfred found them around noon in a pool of blood. Autopsies showed John suffocated and Mill died of suffocation and stab wounds.
The couple was laid to rest after a funeral at Montgomery Moravian Church on May 5, when the Prime Minister, best friend and former class mate of Mills, described the double murder as a moment of grief and national trauma. He also called on Tobagonians who may have known something about the deaths to come forward.
Dr Rowley attended Bishop’s High School with Mills and remembered him as an amazing athlete. He said they met as children in Canaan/Bon Accord, the pair became inseparable throughout life.
Investigations into the murders are continuing.