Fake HDC employee denied bail for contract scam

Home*Cover Story*News

Fake HDC employee denied bail for contract scam

A Chaguanas man has appeared virtually before a Master of the High Court, charged with Uttering Forged Documents.

Corey Sutherland, 44, of Edinburgh 500, was denied bail when he appeared in court on Monday 6th May, 2024 to answer to the charge.

The matter was postponed to June 3rd, 2024.

Two contractors reported to police that on April 30th, 2024, they were contacted by a man who claimed to be an employee of the Housing Development Corporation (HDC). The man allegedly invited the contractors to bid for an HDC contract to construct homes in the Couva district.

Following site visits, the contractors were allegedly informed that they were awarded the contract and each given a Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago cheque drawn on the account of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development in the sum of TT$828,104.64.

The money represented a mobilization fee payment which was accepted as genuine and later found to be fraudulent.

A report was made to the police and the Fraud Squad launched an investigation into the matter spearheaded by Snr. Supt. Arlet Groome, Supt. Arnold Lutchman and W/Insp. Tricia Smith and assisted by Sgt. Lochan, Cpl Edwards and PCs Kernahan and Ramkissoon and WPC Jointe.
One male suspect was subsequently arrested in connection with the matter and charged by Cpl Keston Williams, also of Fraud Squad.

The Fraud Squad wishes to advise citizens, especially business owners, to be vigilant for fraudulent Central Bank of Trinidad and Tobago cheques.

Investigators say fraudsters are claiming to be employed with Government Ministries and in a position to acquire Government contracts for business owners, usually contractors with registered businesses.

The contractors are then asked to pay kickbacks to the employee in exchange for the contract. They are then given these fraudulent cheques to take to the bank for encashment.

The public is reminded to follow the established procedures and processes within each Ministry, for the tendering and awarding of contracts.