Supervisor didn’t check what payments were for, fraud trial hears
Kyril Burrows's supervisor at the time of his alleged fraud against Government admitted authorising payments submitted by Mr Burrows without reading the documents.
Calvin Waldron, 43, agreed for the money to come out of Government's coffers without knowledge of the projects it was being claimed for.
Prosecutors say payments signed off by Mr Waldron, together with Mr Burrows, were used by Mr Burrows for personal spending.
Mr Burrows, and his wife Delcina Bean-Burrows are on trial at Supreme Court accused, between them, of swindling Government out of more than $553,000.
Mr Burrows, 48, a former buildings manager at Works and Engineering, is accused of dishonestly submitting invoices so Government paid to rebuild the home he shared in St George's with his 49-year-old wife.
He is further accused of directing Government funds to his wife's companies Ren Tech and Theravisions for work that was never done. He is also alleged to have spent Government cash on three televisions for his private home.
Mr Waldron, a superintendent at Works and Engineering, authorised payments submitted by Mr Burrows who was the buildings manager there. Giving evidence for the Crown yesterday, Mr Waldron, from Southampton, said he kept books of purchase orders as part of his job.
He explained that he used to fill out and sign blank copies of these orders on a weekly basis and give them to his foremen so they could make purchases when they were on the road.
“Did you issue them for personal purchases for yourself or for members of your staff?” inquired prosecutor Susan Mulligan.
“No,” replied Mr Waldron.
He said once the foremen brought invoices for the purchases back to him, he would match them to the purchase orders and arrange for the payments to be made.
Mr Waldon said he also issued pre-signed, blank payment certificates to buildings manager Mr Burrows and assistant buildings manager Eldon Binns and later Myron Burchall.
He admitted that when he signed these off for payment, he didn't ask any questions.
“I didn't. I just took it on good faith that they were running the project,” he said.
Mr Waldron told the jury that when Mr Burrows gave him documents to sign, they were “always filled out” by Mr Burrows for him in advance with details of the purchase. He then checked the amount on the payment certificate matched the invoice before signing off on the payment.
“Did you ever read what was filled out aside from the totals?” inquired Ms Mulligan.
“I don't recall. Maybe the contractor but I don't remember the specifics,” replied Mr Waldron.
“Did you ever have any reason to be suspicious of Mr Burrows or doubt Mr Burrows?” asked the prosecutor.
“None whatsoever,” replied Mr Waldron.
He acknowledged that he was originally charged over the alleged fraud too. A fourth person, Greatfield Carmichael, 62, also faced charges. However, prosecutors have since dropped the charges against him and Mr Carmichael. Mr Waldron agreed after that to give a statement to the police about the case.
When Ms Mulligan asked him if he was guilty of conspiring with Mr Burrows to cheat the Government, Mr Waldron initially replied: “I don't understand.”
When the prosecutor repeated her question, he responded: “No I wasn't.”
Mr and Mrs Burrows deny 35 charges encompassing allegations of cheating Government, obtaining Government money by deception and false accounting, and the case continues.