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Charges recommended against Nursery School Head Teacher for fraud

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Charges have been recommended for Head-teacher of the Liana Nursery school, Penelope George for the misuse of security grants allocated to the school.

An audit was conducted by an internal auditor at the Ministry of Education, Khemraj Jailal on February 13, 2017, into security services rendered at the Nursery School for the period January 2015 to December 2016.

The findings revealed that $2,999,202 was collected for the year 2015 and $3,020,248 for 2016, however, there were no clear indication if the sums were deposited into the School’s bank account since no bank book or current bank statements were provided. “The last bank statement showed a balance of $269, 491 as at August 6, 2014,” the investigation revealed.

However, the auditor noted that no receipts were presented for payment of security services for months of February, March, November and December of 2015 and September, October, November and December of 2016.

Additionally, a receipt dated December 4, 2015, for $160,680 as payment for security services rendered for September 2015 was presented to the auditor, but the school’s security register reflected a payment of $243,600. Another receipt for $200,000 was presented for October 2015, but the school’s security register showed $243,600.

It was discovered that the security service was being paid part payments, though the Headteacher collected security grants to cover full payments. This was supported by letters written by Ms. George to the security firm asking for time to settle the outstanding debts which she converted to her personal use.

The total outstanding amount to the company is $1,119,840.

In a letter to the Chief Education Officer (Ag), Marcel Hutson, Principal Education Officer (Ag), Immanuel Bridgewater has recommended that as a consequence, Ms. Penelope George be charged under the Education Act, Chapter 39:01, Section 47, Schedule2.

Bridgewater cited ‘misuse of money belonging to others in the school’ and ‘fraudulent conversion of school funds’ as the offences committed, which may require court proceedings.

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