To: Board Members, Central Housing & Planning Authority
From: Mark Jacobs, Chair Land Allocation Committee
Date: 14 January, 2017
Subject : Timeline of payroll fraud allegations
A number of troubling issues have arisen surrounding this issue:
- Serious allegations raised by a Board Member are being ignored by management.
- An employee of CH&PA has been allowed to leave the country presumably on the instructions of the Chairman.
- Management are misleading the Chairman and clearly lying about what they know surrounding this issue.
- The Chairman was in direct communication with the PS Brotherson over an important matter without informing members of the Board.
- Management operating as if the Chairman’s view represents the Board.
- Chairman and management meeting over an important matter I raised without getting my input.
Below is a timeline of emails and memos sent to the Chairman, management and Board members regarding what I deem to be payroll fraud at CH&PA.
As title of memo indicates this is a follow up on matters I had previously discussed with the HR Manager Laverne Benfield-Sanscoulotte and others regarding the time recording system employed at CH&PA.
Days before this writing, I was provided a copy of June, 2016 time reports by the HR DIrector. This request was based on anomalies present the in staff count and work done in the Land Administration Department.
The first four questions of this memo through the secretary of the board were;
- What’s CHPA policy regarding lateness/failure to clock in ? (Please provide a copy)
- Who manages the Time Recording System?
- What measures are in place to verify the integrity of the info on the system?
4. How does this info flow from the system to your office?
On Tuesday September 6, 2016, Director of Finance Reaze Abrahim in response to an earlier request sent me a document detailing overtime for staff of the Land Allocation department for the period January to August 2016.
I forwarded the email and the attachment to Chairman Green and Board Members with the following comments:
This makes for interesting reading. Land admin staff are habitually late and unaccounted for yet generated over a million in overtime pay the past couple months.
On September 14, 2016 I emailed Head of IT Department Andre Ally requesting copies of the time machine original files.
On the same day I met Mr. Ally in his office and made a verbal request for the files which I followed up with an email.
I asked Mr. Ally a number of questions including:
- Where did the time machine come from?
- Who installed it, and,
- What was the cost?
Mr. Ally indicated to me he had no idea where the machine came from and who installed it. However, this is a clear fabrication on his part and a reason for disciplinary action being taken against Mr. Ally for lying.
In a memo dated March 12, 2014 to then CEO Myrna Pitt, Mr. Ally recommended the purchase of the biometric fingerprint scanner and selected the eventual supplier Microscan Technology.
As highlighted in “Indications of payroll fraud” this machine was purchased for $625,000 while it can be currently purchased new online for approximately $28,000.
This purchase by itself warrants and audit by an external body as it clearly indicates an inflated invoice. This is a scheme typically used to generate funds for kickbacks and bribes.
I made further more specific requests for time records from 2015 and 2016 and a list of all CH&PA employees on the fingerprint machine.
The information sent by Mr. Ally showed that there were 163 employees on the clock in system. However, the list provided to me by the HR Manager shows CH&PA has 137 employees, a difference of 26.
In order to explain this, Mr. Ally said, “Also note that some users that left CHPA may still be on the list of users. These are kept for historical data retrieval.”
The HR Manager could not explain this anomaly and blamed it on the IT Department.
In response to the above memo, Chairman Green responded with the following message.
Seven days later in an email cc to HR Manager Sanscoulotte, Mr. Ally wrote to inform me that the biometric machine had experienced a major failure. Mr. Ally said a paper system was being implemented in collaboration with the HR Manager.
I called Mr. Ally and asked him about this failure and his plans for fixing this problem. Mr. Ally informed me that he had planned his leave a long time ago and was proceeding on leave the following day.
On September 23, 2016 I forwarded to the Chairman and members of the Board Mr. Ally’s email about the time machine failure with the following comments:
providence or coincidence the time machine malfunctions after I uncovered millions in wages paid to people missing work? and millions made paid in overtime and perks to under performers additionally there are anomolies like Mrs tudor being paid to act as CEO. a post she declined with give a report Thursday
At the statutory meetings six days later Mr. Ally was called in to the Boardroom to answer questions on another matter. While there I raised the issue of the time machine which is reflected in the minutes under ‘Comments’
- Mr Jacobs interjected that the time machine was not working and the fact that things were not fixed showed incompetence and that person should be replaced.
- After some clarification, it was agreed that Mr Ally be invited to the meeting to explain to the Board the situation.
For further clarity regarding finance and fraud matters in government
agencies I met with Minister within the Ministry of Finance Jaipaul
Sharma this morning in his office. Along with memo mentioned above we
discussed other matters regarding financial irregularities in the Land
Allocation Department at CH&PA (past and current).
Minister Sharma made some recommendations which I will update members
on and arranged a meeting with Accountant General Jawahar Persaud
(Telephone : 226-1062)
Mr. Chairman based on our meeting, Mr. Persaud has asked me to relay
to you the following message:
“Please begin an immediate inventory check on all cash, checks,
receipts, deposit books, check books and deposit slips”
This includes the financial records of all CH&PA Regional Housing
Offices (Anna Regina, Vreed en Hoop, Fort Wellington, New Amsterdam,
Linden and Lethem)
All board members are of the opinion that the awarding of this scholarship to someone at the centre of a fraud investigation makes a mockery of our stated commitment to transparency, accountability and change.
Email from Chairman Green, January 15, 2016
I have seen your e mail At a conference on Friday ALL of the senior officers denied knowledge of and wrong doings by Ms Moore The internal auditor said some time ago ther was a violation but that this did not warrant Police intervention. I need solid evidence . The maxim holds ‘ a person is deemed innocent until proved guilty
Jim Marasco , CPA, CFE, CIA – Fraud Matters, Summer 2007
In any kind of business that issues payroll checks to employees, the possibility of payroll fraud exists. There are various ways payroll fraud can be perpetrated. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners 2006 Report to the Nation on Occupational Fraud and Abuse refers to payroll fraud as “any scheme in which an employee causes his or her employer to issue a payment by making false claims for compensation.”
Falsified Wages How It’s Done
Falsified wages involves employees claiming compensation for hours not worked or falsifying their timesheets or timecards in some fashion. Accounting or payroll personnel with access to the payroll system can manipulate the rates of pay or the hours worked. They may even have the opportunity to pay themselves bonuses when none are warranted. By falsifying their wages, employees have the opportunity to pilfer from an organization and personally profit.