Two government employees accused of defrauding the Health Services Authority of thousands of dollars found themselves on trial in the Grand Court earlier today.
Sitting in silence, some 6 feet apart from each other in the dock, Nick Romano Smith and Dominic Fernando Dacres listened as Crown prosecutor Candia James-Malcolm laid out the case against them.
“In simple terms, the Crown’s case is that two security officers, Mr. Dacres and Mr. Barnes, repeatedly submitted claims for overtime payments for shifts they had not worked,” James-Malcolm told the jury of five women and two men.
Dacres has been charged with a single count of obtaining property by deception. The charge alleges that between 1 Jan. and 31 Dec 2017, he submitted fraudulent overtime forms.
Smith, who worked in a supervisory capacity, is alleged to have knowingly signed off on the false overtime claim forms and then passed them onto the HSA’s accounts department for payment. He has been charged with two counts of false accounting and breach of trust.
“You will hear that Mr. Smith was a public officer, was trusted by the managers to supervise the team and to effectively manage their attendance, leave and overtime,” James-Malcolm told the jury. “Management trusted that he carry out his duties honestly and with integrity and you will hear that he was given a great deal of autonomy and independence to do so; but that ultimately he went on to exploit this trust by deliberately mismanaging the security team.”
Turning her attention to Dacres, James-Malcolm told the jury, “The Crown’s case is that he deliberately and dishonestly obtained property (that is to say, monetary payments for overtime not worked) by submitting false overtime claims.”
Both men deny the allegations.
The trial continues.