Rice company secretary charged with 15 counts of fraud over rent collection

Secretary of the Alesie Guyana Rice company Salim Jairam was yesterday arraigned on fraud charges at the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court, after being accused of misusing rent that was collected on behalf of another man.

Jairam, 32, of Lot 241 Second Field, Cummings Lodge, pleaded not guilty to 11 summary charges of fraudulent conversion. He was not required to plead to four others that were indictable.

Magistrate Priya Beharry presided over the cases.

Jairam denied that between May 1, 2007 and July 7, 2010, being solely entrusted during this period with a total sum of $1,105,000 in rent that he collected from Peter Lester, Joseph Carpen and Sharon Ann Khan to deposit into account of their landlord, Joseph Morgan, he fraudulently converted it to his own uses.

His lawyer, Mishka Puran, applied for reasonable bail on the grounds that Jairam had no previous brushes with the law and that he posed no risk of flight. She stated that her client had been the secretary of the rice company just over a year now and his relationship with his employer has been good. Prosecutor Stephen Telford made no objections to the bail application but asked that it be a substantial amount. He explained that Morgan is the owner of a building with several rooms that he rents in Thomas Street, Kitty.

He noted that Morgan lives overseas and that Jairam is the person who would collect the rent for him and deposit it into his bank account. However, on May 19, 2010, Morgan allegedly made contact with the bank and was told that he had no money in his account.

Telford said that soon after Morgan came to Guyana and discovered that his tenants did indeed gave Jairam their monthly rent but that he had been converting it to his own uses.

The magistrate placed Jairam on $360,000 bail and ordered a further hearing in Court Ten on September 28.