Judge increases bail for lawyer accused of forgery in land deal

Friday, August 10, 2018

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Attorney Jerome Dixon, accused of using forged documents to transfer the title of property without the owners' consent, was Wednesday offered $1 million bail when he appeared in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court.

The 39-year-old accused, who was arrested on July 19, was initially released on $400,000 station bail on four counts of uttering forged documents, two counts of demanding property on forged documents, two counts of forgery and two counts of forgery of seal.

However, when he made his first appearance in court, Chief Parish Judge Chester Crooks increased his bail amount and attachedthe condition for him to surrender his travel documents with a stop order in place. Dixon was also fingerprinted.

According to allegations read in court by the prosecutor, on March 23, Dixon lodged an Instrument of Transfer document, an application to dispense with the production of the duplicate certificate of title for a property and a court order along with other documents at the National Land Agency.

The court order reportedly directed, inter alia, that the property which is located at Harmony Hall, St Mary, and currently registered to a couple, is to be vested absolutely and safely in the name of Dr Otegbola Ojo, who is the attorney's client.

As a result the property was vested without the knowledge and consent of the owners.

It was further reported that investigations later revealed that the Instrument of Transfer, which was purportedly signed by one of the registrar at the Supreme Court, was forged along with the court order that was also purportedly signed by a judge.

The application to dispense with the production of the duplicate certificate of title, which was purportedly signed by a justice of the peace, was also found to be forged.

The court also heard that on February 5 of this year, the Instrument of Transfer document was purportedly lodged at the Commissioner of Taxes Office on Harbour Street in Kingston, where a sum of $1,400,000 and $40 were reportedly paid for transfer taxes and stamp duties, respectively, purportedly by Dr Ojo and/or persons representing the firm where Dixon is employed.

The court also heard that the Barbican address that was given by Dr Ojo does not exist.

In a statement following his arrest, Dixon claimed that the allegations were sensationalised without any proper investigation and factual information.

“I categorically deny any such involvement in this matter. In fact, it is abundantly clear that these allegations are tenuous and malicious, and I believe this is an orchestrated attack on my profession and character,” he said.

Dixon said he was certain that at the end of the process he will be exonerated and fully vindicated of all charges, as he operates under high standards of transparency and all his transactions are in compliance with the governing laws of the profession.

The matter will next be mentioned in court on October 17.

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