Pandit gets one year jail on fraud charge

A pandit was on Monday sentenced to one-year in jail after a city magistrate found him guilty of fraudulent conversion.

Krishna Lall Persaud, 64, was tried by Magistrate Annette Singh on a charge which stated that between July 1, 2013 and July 31, 2015, while being solely entrusted with US$8,000, which is equivalent to $1,600,000, for safekeeping by Pandit Mavlankar Nohar, he fraudulently converted same to his own use and benefit.

According to the evidence presented in open court, both men were known to each other for quite some time as Nohar would often spend time at Persaud’s residence whenever he travelled to Guyana.

The court was told that during the period in question, Nohar had entrusted Persaud with US$8,000 for safekeeping. However, when Nohar returned to Guyana and requested that the money be returned, Persaud claimed that his wife had accidently burnt the bag in which he had hid the money.

On the other hand, Persaud stated that Nohar was in the habit of making trips into and from Guyana as he was in the process of constructing a house at Grove, East Bank Demerara. He claimed that the two had made an arrangement which allowed Nohar to stay at his house at a monthly cost of US$600 while his house was being constructed. Persaud had also expressed his belief that Nohar’s accusations stemed from him refusing to lend his accuser some money as he had already accrued a debt of US$20,000 for lodging. He told the court that he had already returned the US$7,000 that Nohar had entrusted to him before he left Guyana.

Nevertheless, Magistrate Singh found Persaud guilty and sentenced him to one year in jail.