Trial begins for housing trust deputy chairman

An insurance salesman who was a former deputy chairman of the National Housing Development Trust appeared in court this week accused of selling or attempting to sell insurance to housing applicants whom he falsely told required insurance.

Trial began in Grand Court on Monday for Edlin Mac­Arthur Myles, who is also a former member of the board of directors of the housing development trust.

He faces nine charges of obtaining or attempting to obtain a pecuniary advantage – an opportunity to earn commissions on insurance policies – by deception; that is, by falsely representing that insurance was necessary at that time in order to secure a house through the housing scheme.

In opening the case, Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Trevor Ward explained to the jury that the National Housing Development Trust did not require policies of insurance before applicants were approved by a bank or lending institution.

In summarizing the evidence he proposed to call, he said that when 12 homes became available in East End, a list of applicants was presented to the directors for discussion at a meeting set for Jan. 21, 2011. The defendant approached the secretary of the trust and asked her for a list which was amended to contain the age and phone number of applicants.

He then contacted them, identified himself as being with the National Housing Development Trust, and invited them to his office to discuss insurance. The allegation is that he led them to believe they needed to take out insurance at that stage to get a house. He told them government would pay their first year’s premiums and they only needed to pay the first month.

Mr. Ward told the court that witnesses would say none of them had any experience in such matters and they accepted what the defendant told them.