Friendship man charged for fraud

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Twenty-four-year-old Patrick Watts appeared before Principal Magistrate Judy Latchman at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Courts, accompanied by his lawyer, to answer to a charge of fraudulent conversion earlier today (Monday).

The father of two, of Friendship Village on the East Bank of Demerara, opted to have his case heard summarily at the Magistrates’ Courts and he pleaded not guilty to the allegation which read that between August 24, 2017 and September 11, 2017, at Durban Street, Georgetown, whilst being a bailee of one Toyota minibus valued at $3.1 M, property of Elvis Smith, he fraudulently converted same to his own use and benefit.

The defendant’s lawyer argued that the accused is a first offender, posing no flight risk and requested reasonable bail in the circumstances.

Meanwhile, Police Prosecutor Shawn Gonsalves relayed the facts which revealed that the complainant had entrusted to the accused the said vehicle to operate and keep at the cost of $7000 per week. According to Gonsalves, the defendant had stopped paying after some time and the complainant’s efforts to contact him via phone calls hereafter, proved futile.

The court was informed that Smith reported the incident to the police who traced the bus to Timehri (EBD) where it was discovered to have been stripped of some of its parts.

Investigations revealed that the defendant had sold the bus to a third party for some $300,000, that to which he admitted in a caution statement, according to Police facts.

The accused was placed on $100,000 bail pending the outcome of trial which is expected to commence on October 16, 2017.

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