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APNU+AFC’s Scrutineer on $140k bail over misappropriation of MARDS’ funds

APNU+AFC’s Chief Election Scrutineer, Carol Smith-Joseph

The APNU+AFC’s Chief Election Scrutineer, Carol Smith-Joseph, has been slapped with 14 indictable charges of Fraudulent Appropriation of Property of Body Corporate committed on the Mahaica Abary Rice Development Scheme (MARDS).

The charges were brought on by the Special Organised Crime Unit (SOCU), and Joseph of Hopetown, West Coast Berbice (WCB), was not required to plead.

She appeared at the Mahaicony Magistrate’s Court before Magistrate Marissa Mittleholzer, where the charges were read to her.

She was subsequently granted in the sum of $140,000. Attorneys-at-Law Nigel Hughes and Roysdale Forde represented her. The matter was adjourned to January 11, 2023, for statements and June 7, 2023, for the commencement of the Preliminary Inquiry (PI).

Reports are that in March 2022, MARDS made a report to SOCU about the fraudulent appropriation of funds of the company by Joseph, who was a director in 2016.

As a result of that report, SOCU commenced an investigation. According to the Police, during the course of the investigation, it was revealed that the Chief Election Scrutineer was appointed as a Director of MARDS between July 2015 and June 2018.

As a director on MARDS’ board, without authority, she solely approved 14 transactions amounting to $6,121,108.00 between June 1 and August 2016.

The Police contended that Joseph allegedly used the money for her “personal benefits and other purposes” other than MARDS’ business.


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