Former Registrar of the High Court, Tamara Gibson-Marks. (Internet photo)

The state officials investigating the action of former registrar of the High Court, Tamara Gibson-Marks, are said to have found that some EC$300,000 from an account that she held in trust is unaccounted for.

Attorney General Judith Jones-Morgan asked Marks to resign last week Wednesday after a meeting between the two officials, Prime Minister and Minister of Legal Affairs Ralph Gonsalves told I-Witness News earlier this week.

He further said the Commissioner of Police and the Director of Audit have been notified of the development, and other important state agencies could become involved.

Police chief notified as AG asks Registrar to resign

I-Witness News understands that so far state officials probing the development have uncovered a series of unauthorised withdrawals from the account, in which some EC$600,000 was deposited when it was opened at a local bank a year ago.

“Some EC$250,000 was legitimately withdrawn from the account, but the transactions record suggests that that there were several unauthorized withdrawals, the most recent being EC$22,000 in March,” a source told I-Witness on condition of anonymity, because they are not authorised to speak to the media.

Another source, who also asked not to be identified, told I-Witness News that depending on the outcome of the investigation, the former registrar could be asked to show cause as to why she should not be barred from practising law.

I-Witness News understands that Marks left St. Vincent for St. Lucia shortly after her resignation.

13 replies on “$300,000 withdrawn from account managed by former registrar”

  1. Unfortunate and wrong. Might have found herself in a taking reality that makes taking very easy. Comparatively speaking, that’s chump change, these days, I am guessing.

  2. Article published in the Vincentian about a year ago:

    Bacchus-Browne Wants Her Money

    Defense attorney Kay Bacchus-Browne wants her payment of monies owing her by the state.

    By: Haydn Huggins • Thu, Jun 06, 2013

    Defence lawyer Kay Bacchus-Browne is again calling on the authorities to pay long outstanding monies owed to her for state assigned matters.

    Bacchus-Browne told THE VINCENTIAN on Wednesday that she had written to the High Court Registrar, Tamara Gibson Marks, since March and the Registry responded saying they had no money.

    The letter dated March 7, 2013 which was copied to Finance Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves stated, “It has become embarrassing that, despite several letters and calls to your good self, the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines has steadily failed to pay the following long outstanding bills owed to me. I am a sole practitioner and whenever I am engaged in the Assizes, all my time is dedicated to the trial. I simply cannot afford to keep waiting so long for payment. Please request a special warrant to pay off all outstanding bills for all assigned cases.”

    The matters listed are R vs Kenute Lynch, R vs Daniel Dick Trimmingham, R vs Kawana Wilkins et al, R vs Alaskie Samuel, R vs Colin David, R vs Shorn Samuel, R vs Elvis Antoine and R vs Atiba bess.

    Bacchus-Browne told this publication, “I have been doing state assigned matters for about 20 years, and it is only in the last two years I have been having problems with getting my money. People can’t work without being paid. It is not easy to be stuck in the High Court for a week without being paid. It is unacceptable. This is going on for too long.”

    The Vincentian article seems to call into questions the financial management of the registrar at least a year ago. Was any investigations or audits conducted as a result? It appears that moneys could have been misappropriated going back as much as three years.

    Why wasn’t the registrar arrested or at least brought in by the police for an interview? Was she allowed to leave the country as a courtesy to her husband or to protect others?

    Will the FIU join the investigation and seize any properties she may have owned in SVG in order to recoup the missing money?

    Why was a new account opened, who permitted it and was responsible for overseeing the financial operations of the registry?

    How often are audits or even financial statements reconciliations done?

    Who assisted her in this operation? It’s hard to imagine that her actions drew no suspicions at the bank that held this new account. Has the investigation been broadened to include anyone who may have aided, abetted or assisted in covering up ?

  3. But, again, will there by no consequences for her actions? She should be charged with a criminal offence and made to suffer the consequences. What happened to the Edson Augusts matter? Where is he, and why is he not being charged with a criminal offence? What happened to all the bravado about a ‘transparent’ government, that was the tagline of this administration?

  4. C. ben-David says:

    Although dishonest behaviour happens all over the world, this does not mean that it is evenly or randomly distributed within and between societies. Our little realm is one in which larceny is more widespread, expected, even accepted than in many other places. No one who misplaces a wallet, purse, or even umbrella in Kingstown can ever hope to get their property back.

    Poverty explains some of this but does not account for theft by otherwise monied people.

    Greed explains part of this but there is an equally plausible reason, namely the legacy of slavery, a pernicious institution which encouraged slaves to engage in all manner of devious activity including the theft of property, especially food, simply to survive.

    Slavery has been over for a long, long time, but some of its survival features are still with us today.

    Hence the attempt by Caribbean ex-slavery-based societies, lead by our own country, to extort reparations from the former European colonizers. It is just a modern-day example of our historically-rooted larcenous mentality.

  5. It always beat the life out of me in trying to understand the actions or non-actions of many of our top civil servants who are also heads of Dept.
    Here is a situation where the Police Chief and other heads of gov’t agencies were notified almost immediately of the missing monies. The Registrar was asked to resign… Nevertheless, none of the idiots thought it necessary that she ought to be detained and investigated promptly by the police who would have to ensure that a travel ban is immediately issued, and that her passport is confiscated.
    But this would not happen under the ULP because what is good for the goose must also be good for the gander. You can’t pursue some and not others. This entire civil service organisation must be revamped and be staffed with competent and morally upright persons in authority. Those few nincompoops who are allowed to demonstrate their incompetence, give the rest of the service a very bad name.

  6. SMH!!! What happened to the “checks and balances” system? These things always seem to be caught after the fact! Much better needs to be done.

  7. Peter Binose says:

    Fear not its all sorted, I doubt we will hear anything else about this subject, it was all a mistake.

  8. Urlan Alexander says:

    When you are in control of a vine string government, (just barely holding on to power) and refused to punish persons of your party for the wrongs they have committed against the country because you fear that you will lose support isin indeed aiding and abetting corruption. SO many reported instances of corruption in government and no one was ever charged. Now in your twilight years and at the end of your reign as PM it is an embarrassing situation to be in. London Bridge is indeed falling down. Corruption galore. BRAGGSA is next. Stay tuned!

  9. C. ben-David says:

    To the best of my knowledge, no member of high society in SVG has ever gone to prison for a so-called white-collar crime. The late Othniel Sylvester who was found guilty of ripping the Danes off for millions of dollars died in voluntary exile in America rather than in prison in our blessed homeland. In fact, few members of the exalted elite are ever even charged for let alone convicted of white-collar crimes.

    Even high-class individuals who have committed cold-blooded premeditated murder are never charged, or get off the hook because they can afford the best legal team money can buy, or, at most, serve a few years on a lesser charge of manslaughter.

    In civilized countries like the United States and Canada, the prisons and jails are full of wealthy people who have committed all manner of crimes.

    Just another reason we are a backward, Third World country and destined to remain so till Kingdom come.

    Poor we.

  10. Tomorrow 4th June will be exactly two weeks since [Tamara Marks resigned from teh] Registry. I would like to know the status of the investigation […] being conducted by the Police and the Audit Departments.
    Judith Jones Morgan -AG was able to conclude her investigation of the Registrar’s conduct just from one meeting on Wednesday 21st May that lasted a few minutes at which point she determined that […] the very attractive wife of ex-ULP Senator, lawyer Ronnie Marks, [should resign]. Why after almost two weeks, those who are trained in criminal investigation are not able to complete their investigation. Do we have to wait for an answer from the PM- Minister with responsibility for legal affairs and national security? Seriously?

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