Nov 22, 2019 Last Updated 3:37 PM, Nov 4, 2019

The Minister of Finance & the Public Service

The Hon. Nigel Clarke, DPhil., MP, is Jamaica's Minister of Finance and the Public Service and is Member of Parliament for St Andrew Northwestern. ...

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FID takes $34.6M bite out of Crime through Pecuniary Penalty Orders

A former accounting officer of the Accountant General's Department and a prominent Cosmetics Store Operator have been ordered to pay to the Crown in over $34 million as pecuniary penalties levied for their criminal lifestyles in keeping with the Proceeds of Crime Act.

Both orders were granted in the Home Circuit Court 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, former employee of the Accountant General's Department (AGD), was on October 18, 2019 ordered to pay the sum of $20,828,192.08, less the sum of $2,062,136.86 already forfeited from two of his associates. Allegations are that Parkinson conspired with others to defraud the public purse of $26,528,510.64 when he re-activated the accounts of deceased pensioners resulting in the AGD paying out this money in pensions. In September, 2014, Parkinson pleaded guilty to Forty-Four (44) counts of Obtaining Money by Means of False Pretenses and was sentenced to Three (3) years imprisonment on each count. The Pecuniary Penalty imposed is in addition to this sentence.

On October 29, 2019, Dian Williams was ordered to pay the Crown $13,862,494.20 after the Court found that she benefitted from her criminal lifestyle in 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 these fines from illicit funds and added these 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 these expenses were met from her legitimate earnings.

Both Parkinson and Williams have been given six months to make these 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.

FID's Chief Technical Director, Robin Sykes, says the FID intends to collect every cent of these judgments which he says represents 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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