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Fraudsters shameless in their actions – Pastor Glazeter Leslie

Published:Saturday | February 4, 2023 | 12:26 AMAlbert Ferguson/Gleaner Writer

WESTERN BUREAU:

Glazeter Leslie, pastor of the Wesleyan Methodist Church in Savanna-la-Mar, Westmoreland said that too many Jamaicans are being sympathetic to perpetrators who defraud others out of their money.

Leslie said there are multiple cases of barefaced fraud surrounding us in various institutions in Jamaica, which many have embraced as normal or as unfortunate on the path of the perpetrators when they are caught.

Speaking at the Rotary Club of Savanna-la-Mar’s Community and Vocational Awards ceremony held recently at Hotel Commingle, Leslie said the perpetrators of fraud have shown no form of remorse for their actions.

“I don’t need to list or catalogue how many cases of fraud and corruption have been uncovered in recent years. Every day we wake up, there is another one on the news,” Leslie argued.

He noted that these perpetrators are shameless in their actions.

“The fact is they offer very lame excuses for defrauding other persons of their hard-earned money and then in a lot of instances one gets the feeling that some members of the society actually sympathised because the perpetrators were unlucky to get caught,” the clergyman proclaimed.

“That, unfortunately, is the kind of society in which we live, the kind of society we have a collective responsibility to try to change,” Leslie, who is also a senior justice of the peace, said.

The country is trying to grapple with a multimillion fraud at Stocks and Security Limited (SSL), a private investment house involving accounts for more than 40 people, including retired track legend Usain Bolt, who were allegedly defrauded of approximately $3 billion.

Jean-Ann Panton, a former wealth advisor at SSL, admitted to defrauding several clients of the investment firm in a statement to the management on January 7.

According to her statement, she estimated that US$864,614. 60 and J$18,186,000 was fleeced from the accounts of her clients.

Her explanation for her actions stemmed from health issues when her father was diagnosed with cancer and as the primary caregiver who was responsible for her parent’s care and finances, she borrowed money from clients’ accounts to pay for her father’s treatment, which includes seeking treatment overseas, even though she had no idea how it was going to be repaid.

Fínance Minister Dr Nigel Clarke, in an effort to get to the bottom of the 13 years of financial fraud at SSL, has sought and received the assistance of the United States government through the Federal Bureau of Investigators.