Top Ja­maica real es­tate at­tor­ney slapped with new fraud charges

Stabroek News Sunday - - REGIONAL NEWS -

(Ja­maica Gleaner) Top real es­tate at­tor­ney Jen­nifer Mes­sado is fac­ing new fraud-re­lated charges.

The Counter Ter­ror­ism and Or­gan­ised Crime di­vi­sion (C-TOC) says Mes­sado, 67, was ar­rested and charged on Fri­day with forgery, ut­ter­ing forged doc­u­ments and at­tempt­ing to ob­tain money by means of forged doc­u­ments.

She was granted bail in the sum of $100,000 and is to ap­pear in the Kingston and St An­drew Parish Court on June 1.

Ac­cord­ing to C-TOC, Mes­sado’s lat­est ar­rest comes one month after she al­legedly vis­ited a prom­i­nent fi­nan­cial in­sti­tu­tion in the Cor­po­rate Area and ten­dered a signed let­ter to the man­ager with the sig­na­tures of two per­sons.

C-TOC, in a state­ment on Fri­day, said the let­ter “had cer­tain in­struc­tions al­low­ing her to con­duct busi­ness on be­half of the (2) com­plainants.”

How­ever, C-TOC says checks were made and it was dis­cov­ered that nei­ther per­sons gave the prom­i­nent at­tor­ney per­mis­sion to con­duct busi­ness on their be­half.

Mes­sado was ar­rested ear­lier this month and charged with forgery, ut­ter­ing forged doc­u­ments, con­spir­acy to de­fraud, money laun­der­ing and caus­ing money to be paid out by forged doc­u­ment.

She was ar­rested along with real es­tate bro­ker Bev­erly Barakat, in connection with the “sale” of a prop­erty val­ued at $232 mil­lion.

Barakat has been charged with con­spir­acy to de­fraud, forgery and op­er­at­ing a real es­tate bro­ker­age firm with­out a li­cence.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors al­leged that on De­cem­ber 20 last year, Mes­sado pre­pared a sales agree­ment for two parcels of land with­out the knowl­edge and con­sent of the owner.

It’s al­leged that she col­lected US$270,000 as down pay­ment from the prospec­tive pur­chaser.

Jen­nifer Mes­sado

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