Accused in Manchester job scam returns to court today

Thursday, April 26, 2018

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MANCHESTER, Jamaica— Thirty-eight-year-oldKeishaForbes, who is answering to charges in relation to an alleged overseas employment scam in Christiana, will make her second appearance in the Manchester Parish Court today.

She faced the court last month and was offered bail in the sum of $200,000.

However, her attorney Kemar Robinson told OBSERVER ONLINE yesterday that she is still in custody.

Forbes was charged with obtaining money by false pretence and conspiracy to defraud.

The allegations are that she collected down payments from a number of applicants who had interest in a work programme, through which they expected to secure employment in Canada or the United States.

The applicants reportedly made part payments with the agreement that the other portion would be paid when they arrive at their respective jobs.

Unable to make contact with Forbes days before they were slated to leave the island and after learning that the office where they conducted business in Christiana was no longer in operation, the matter was reported to the police.

When the accused made her first appearance in court last month, her attorney said that she was also a victim.

He told the court that she was an employee at the agency and was not able to make contact with her former employer, who resides overseas, at the time the applicants were ready to leave. She turned herself in to the police, he said.

Robinson said that the monies collected were sent to her employer and her intent was not to defraud the applicants. He said that his client has been co-operating with the police in their investigation.

The prosecutor said that they were not able to make contact withForbes' former employer or anyone else who knows him.

It was revealed in court that the complainants were not aware that the accused was not the owner of the business, which was not registered.

Parish Judge Desiree Alleyne said that Forbes could take up the bail with one or two sureties.

The conditions attached were that a stop order be placed on her travel documents, if there are any, and she should report to the Mandeville Police Station at a designated time set by the court.

According to the prosecution, there are receipts on file of payments made by complainants and that they were expecting others to come forward.

Reports are that applicants came from as far away as Kingston and Montego Bay to use the service of the employment agency.

The matter is being probed through the Jamaica Constabulary Force's Counter Terrorism and Organised Crime Investigation Branch (C-TOC).

Alicia Sutherland

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