$145M fraud: Convicted former GRDB accountant for trial in January

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Former accountant at the Guyana Rice Development Board (GRDB), Peter Ramcharran, who was found guilty of omitting some $145 million from the agency’s ledger and sentenced to three years’ imprisonment, will go on trial for similar offences from January 26, 2022.

Ramcharran, who was jailed for the crime last year February by Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan, has filed an appeal against his conviction and sentence. He was granted $2 million bail by a High Court Judge pending the hearing and determination of the appeal.

Ramcharran whose last known address is reported as Goedverwagting, East Coast Demerara (ECD), was slapped with 39 fraud-related charges upon his extradition to Guyana from Canada in 2019.

The offences were committed between 2011 and 2015. And they were in relation to the falsification of the agency’s accounts and omitting to enter some $414 million into the ledger.

He was found guilty on one set of charges by the Chief Magistrate. As it relates to the remaining charges, he is scheduled to go on trial in the new year before Principal Magistrate Sherdel Isaacs-Marcus. The charges against him were filed by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU).

Ramcharran is being represented by Attorney-at-Law Nigel Hughes. When a hearing for the pending charges against him came up on Monday at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts, Police Prosecutor Neville Jeffers asked the court for time to sort out the case file.

This is in light of Saturday’s fire which destroyed a section of the Eve Leary, Georgetown building which houses the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP). The Police prosecutor was given until January 19, 2022, to do so. The DPP’s office remains closed indefinitely.

The DPP, Shalimar Ali-Hack, SC, said that many court cases will have to be rescheduled until the office is back up and running. The DPP’s office, according to its Communications Officer Liz Rahaman, was able to save 98 per cent of its files from the blaze.

But the hundreds of paper documents are in disarray and will have to be reorganised. At the fire scene, the DPP renewed her calls for the digitisation of records. “It is something I have been asking for, for years now, to digitise the system. This shows the wisdom in having a digitised system,” Ali-Hack told reporters.