BK assistant manager accused of forging invoice in $20M transaction

—granted $150,000 bail

Lindon Stepheny

An assistant manager at BK International was yesterday granted $150,000 bail, after he was accused of defrauding the company of $20.4 million.

Magistrate Faith McGusty read the charge to accused, Lindon Stepheny, which stated that between July 23, 2018 and August 31, 2018, at Georgetown, with intent to defraud, he uttered a forged document purporting to be an invoice; that is to say, an invoice to Arthur Gallagher for payment to be made to Chuck Enterprises in the sum of 92,779 USD, equivalent to 20,410,080 million GYD, for the renewal of an insurance policy in favour of Jags Aviation, knowing same to be false.

Stephney, of East Ruimveldt, denied the allegation.

Facts surrounding the matter state that on July 23, the accused, while performing duties at BK International, issued to Esau Samad, Chief Accountant of BK International, an invoice dated July 26, 2018, purporting to show that he received it via email.

On August 2, 2018, the accused issued another invoice dated August 2, 2018 to Samad, purporting to show that he received same via email.

The invoices were handed over to Samad to effect payment in the sum of 92,774 USD, for the annual premium insurance policy for a Jags Aviation Inc. aircraft. Jags Aviation, situated at Ogle, is a company that comes under the control of BK International Inc.

The accused, who is responsible for communicating with the insurer, Arthur J Gallagher, and finalising the annual premium insurance policy, reportedly issued to Samad incorrect invoices in an attempt to distract the company, BK International Inc., from making the correct payment to the beneficiary, Gallagher.

Representing the accused was attorney Adrian Thompson, who stated that his client has been suspended from his job without pay since the incident arose. He then requested that the accused be granted reasonable bail.

Police Prosecutor Seon Blackman, objected to the accused being granted bail, citing the amount of money that the company was defrauded of and the nature of the crime. The prosecutor’s objections, however, were not heeded, as the magistrate granted the accused $150,000 bail, with the condition that he lodge his passport and report to the fraud section at the Criminal Investigation Depart-ment.

The matter was then adjourned until May 8.

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