Related forgery charges must be dealt with in the higher court, magistrate confirms
An employee charged with stealing $936,048.90 from the Security Centre had charges against her transmitted to the Grand Court, where she was directed to appear on Friday, April 25.
Patti Jane Ebanks, 48, appeared in Summary Court on Tuesday. Her attorney, Ben Tonner, told Magistrate Kirsty-Ann Gunn that he had just received the documents in the case that morning. They included one charge of theft, one of money laundering, two of forgery and 35 of making documents without authority.
At her first appearance, on March 11, it was thought that all charges against her could be tried in either the Summary Court or the Grand Court. [The Criminal Procedure Code lists four different forgery offenses, two of which are Grand Court only and two of which are either way.]
On Tuesday, Mr. Tonner said the forgery allegation against Ebanks could be dealt with only in the Grand Court.
The magistrate agreed. She also agreed that theft is a charge that can be heard in Summary Court or Grand Court. Because this theft charge appeared to be related to the forgery charges, the magistrate confirmed that the law required her to transmit them together.
The same principle applied to the making of documents without authority.
Details of the theft charge are that the money was stolen between April 1, 2010, and June 1, 2013. The forgery charges are alleged to have occurred in January and February of 2012.
The money laundering charge was brought under the Proceeds of Crime Law. It alleges that sometime between April 1, 2010 and June 1, 2013, the defendant concealed or disguised property which represented directly or indirectly benefit from criminal conduct, namely funds stolen from the Security Centre in the amount of $710,019.80.
The magistrate continued Ebanks’ bail on condition that her passport be surrendered to the court (it was previously held by police) and that she not leave the jurisdiction without permission from the court.