A Ministry of Finance official, who discovered discrepancies in the accounting system which led to a clerical officer at the Psychiatric Hospital being arrested for theft and laundering more than $1 million, testified today.
Anderson Ryan Ince of Hannays Road, St Lucy is on trial in the No. 2 Supreme Court for stealing $1,118, 500 – which belonged to the Black Rock, St Michael institution and was vested with the Central Bank – sometime between August 1, 2003 and August 1, 2005.
On the witness stand today, Ruth Annette Francis, an application support specialist, told the nine-member jury she was reconciling the estimates of expenditure for the Psychiatric Hospital when she came across a series of transactions in the system all for $10, 000 to a vendor named Anthony Nurse.
“It was unusual for me because [there were] transactions in the system all [with] rounded figures of $10, 000. There was no variety in terms of the dollar value,” she explained.
“But what struck me as strange was that [one of the $10, 000 transactions] came off the food vote and the Psychiatric Hospital never has money for a whole financial year to purchase food,” Francis added, explaining that “several accounts [were] affected”.
She said while it was not unusual for one vendor to be paid from different accounts, in this case, there were no source documents providing invoice number, a local purchase order number or reference, which were required.
She brought the matter to the attention of the Accountant General who asked her to “run a report” in the SmartStream system in which the information was keyed.
“The report revealed that there were at the time 27 similar transactions for the particular vendor Anthony Nurse. Twenty-seven paid transactions for Mr Nurse
. . . that time totalled $700, 000,” she said in response to questions posed by Principal Crown Counsel Alliston Seale.
She further revealed that she noticed the user identification used on all the transactions for Nurse was “INCEA”, which was a user ID in the system.
“It was given to an employee Anderson Ince . . . at the Psychiatric Hospital,” Francis said.
She explained that only persons with two levels of security access could log on to the network and the SmartStream software.
Francis also revealed that the name Terryann Badenock also raised some red flags.
“They stood out because the conditions were the same in that there were no supporting documents that I could refer too,” she said.
Acting Director of Public Prosecutions Donna
Babb-Agard, QC, is lead prosecutor in the case along with Seale and Crown Counsels Oliver Thomas and Olivia Davis.
Attorneys Steve Gollop, Charmaine Delice-Hunte and Neil Marshall are representing the accused man who pleaded not guilty to the charges back in 2006.
Madam Justice Michelle Weekes is presiding over the case which continues tomorrow.