Second W&E supervisor admits authorising payments
A second Government employee who worked with fraud-accused Kyril Burrows admitted to Supreme Court that he authorised payments for him without reading the documents.
Greatfield Carmichael, 62, was originally charged alongside Mr Burrows.
The charges have since been dropped, and he testified for the prosecution yesterday in relation to the case involving funds from Works and Engineering.
Mr Burrows used to work for that Ministry as a buildings manager and Mr Carmichael still works there as a superintendent.
Prosecutors allege that Mr Burrows fiddled documents in order to funnel payments for fake Works and Engineering projects into his own pockets.
Some of the projects were listed on documents as having been carried out by his wife Delcina Bean-Burrows’ companies Renn Tech and Theravisions, but prosecutors say the work was never done.
Yesterday, Mr Carmichael told the jury Mr Burrows used to be his supervisor.
He said he sometimes used to hand out blank payment certificates, pre signed, to Mr Burrows at the request of administrative staff.
Mr Burrows would later fill in the details regarding what had been spent, and Mr Carmichael would cosign them.
The witness recalled processing documents for a company named Health Tech Rennaissance, which he believed to be linked to Mrs Burrows.
He said he also processed invoices from Mr Burrows for Ren Tech, but did not know who owned it or worked for it.
He added that Mr Burrows would send through paperwork for processing relating to Theravisions, another company he didn’t know about.
Mr Carmichael told the jury Mr Burrows would also fill out payment certificates relating to contract work, and he would sign them as project manager, even though he did not in fact manage the project.
He explained this process was in place from the time he first arrived at the Prospect depot of Works and Engineering when Mr Burrows was buildings manager.
“When I first went to Prospect this was the protocol and process I found in place as set up by the buildings manager and continued by all of the superintendents as well as the administrative staff,” he said.
Prosecutor Susan Mulligan asked the witness to tell the jury about several purchase orders and payment certificates he signed off on behalf of Mr Burrows.
One certificate was a $3,850 payment for boarding up Harrington Sound School in preparation for Hurricane Florence. The work was purported to have been done by Ren Tech, but the Crown says it was not done at all.
Mr Carmichael said he authorised this payment as project manager and Mr Burrows signed it too.
“Mr Burrows would have signed that prior to me receiving it so the only space for me to comply with his request to cosign this document would have been the space that says project manager,” he told the jury. He admitted he did not know if the work was done.
He said Mr Burrows would hand him such documents in batches and he would sign them off straight away as he was busy with his work and the administrative staff were waiting for them.
“I would look at the heading and look at the front page and as it had Mr Burrows’s signature I would sign off, but no, I would not look at all the details,” he said.
The trial previously heard from another superintendent at the depot, Calvin Waldron, who also admitted signing payments for Mr Burrows without knowledge of the projects in question.
Mr Waldron was also charged in the case but the charges were dropped before he gave evidence as a prosecution witness.
The trial also heard yesterday from David Brown, former chief surveyor at Prospect.
He now lives in the UK and was interviewed there in March 2012 by Detective Constable Paul Fenwick of the fraud unit.
The videotaped interview, played to the jury by Det Con Fenwick, showed him quizzing Mr Brown over documents the jury has heard were found by police on one of Mr and Mrs Burrows’s home computers in files entitled “deception e-mail evidence”.
Computer forensics expert Paul Weall testified earlier in the trial that these e-mail exchanges, purportedly sent to Mr Burrows’s Gmail account, looked to have been created in the Microsoft Word programme by cutting and pasting real e-mails from the Government server.
Mr Brown told Det Con Fenwick that he was listed as a recipient of some of these purported e-mails regarding money spent on projects, yet could not recall sending or receiving them.
He said the contents of some of the documents were not the type of thing he would write. He added that capital funds were not allocated for preparations for Hurricane Florence, as per some of the e-mails he did not recognise.
Mr Brown told the detective: “My e-mails might not go out perfect but the phraseology here is not how I would expect my e-mails to go out.”
Mr Burrows and his wife deny 35 charges encompassing allegations of cheating Government, obtaining Government money by deception and false accounting, and the case continues.