Government accountant presents audit report of couples’ transactions
A Government accountant showed a jury dozens of documents that prosecutors say illustrate the fraud a couple committed against Government.
Kyril Burrows, a former Buildings Manager at the Ministry of Works and Engineering and his wife, Delcina Bean Burrows, face 35 charges alleging that they swindled more than $553,000 from the public purse.
Among the allegations they face are that they directed Government funds to Mrs Bean-Burrows’ company Ren Tech.
Prosecutor Susan Mulligan alleged in her opening speech on February 22 that Mr Burrows signed off on the payments, but Ren Tech had no registered employees and existed only on paper.
In evidence yesterday, Edith Farquharson told the jury she was an accountant in the Accountant General’s department from 2009 to 2011.
She was asked by the police to produce an audit report for Government payments made to Ren Tech, Theravisions and J&M Construction.
She took several hours to show the jury various payment certificates and invoices relating to the money paid from the public purse. Many related to bills for layout drawings that Ren Tech allegedly produced for public schools.
Others related to fire extinguisher audits and maintenance, repairs to a leaky ceiling at Old Garrison Hall Orthodox School in St George’s, and cleaning up Teucer House in Pembroke.
More invoices and payment certificates were shown relating to exterior painting at West Pembroke Primary School and painting and repairing a Regiment storage shed at Warwick Camp, again said to have been carried out by Ren Tech.
Mr and Mrs Burrows face three charges of cheating Government in relation to Ren Tech.
They are alleged to have obtained payments totalling $10,930 for the company by falsely certifying that it produced drawings for Government.
They also face four charges of obtaining money transfers by deception relating to Ren Tech.
Those transfers, totalling $97,143.21 are alleged to have been obtained by falsely representing that payment was required from Government to the company.
Mrs Bean Burrows faces a further charge of money laundering in relation to payments to Ren Tech acquired by Government.
Prosecutors allege that Mrs Bean-Burrows’ company Theravisions was also paid thousands of dollars in public funds after payments were signed off by Mr Burrows.
“Only a small portion of the goods supplied by Theravisions was actually supplied,” according to Ms Mulligan in her opening speech.
Payment certificates and invoices relating to Theravisions were shown to the jury by Ms Farquharson yesterday, including for unspecified work allegedly done at Clifton, the Premier’s official residence.
The couple face nine charges of cheating Government in relation to $26,863 of public money paid to Theravisions. They face two charges of obtaining money transfers to the company from Government by deception, totalling $7,500.
Mrs Bean-Burrows is also accused of money laundering in relation to payments made to Theravisions by Government.
Additional paperwork showed payments to J&M Construction for work at various schools.
The jury had already viewed invoices, earlier in the trial, relating to renovation work at a house in Turkey Hill, St George’s. Those were submitted to Works and Engineering by the construction company’s boss, John White.
According to prosecutors, Mr Burrows obtained payments from Government to J&M Construction for work done at his private home there.
The deluge of paperwork yesterday appeared too much for one juror after several hours of evidence, and Puisne Judge Charles-Etta Simmons inquired if she was taking a nap.
“Are you getting ready to go to sleep? You’re resting your head and covering yourself up all cosy,” she observed, as all 12 jury members shook themselves and stretched.
Mr Burrows and Mrs Bean-Burrows deny 35 charges between January 1, 2005, and December 31, 2009, alleging crimes of cheating, obtaining money transfers by deception, obtaining property by deception, money laundering and false accounting. The case continues.