Two women who were accused of defrauding a St Catherine businesswoman of US$18,000, which she allegedly invested in a foreign currency investment club, have been freed.
Senior Resident Magistrate Lorna Shelly Williams freed businesswoman Pauline Whitter and accountant Vandela Christie yesterday in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court.
The complainant testified that on May 29, 2008, she gave Whitter the money to invest.
She said she should have received monthly interest payments but did not.
When the interest payments were not made, the complainant said she telephoned Christie, who told her that Whitter had given her the money to invest.
Under cross-examination by defence lawyers Earle Hamilton and Lancelot Clarke Jr, it was disclosed that the complainant had filed a civil suit against the two women to recover the money.
The lawyers pointed out to the complainant that, in her affidavit in the civil suit, she had signed that it was on May 12, 2008, that she handed over the money to Whitter.
The defence called an immigration officer who said based on immigration records, Whitter was off the island on May 12, 2008.
The complainant admitted under cross-examination that she had signed an investors' club membership agreement.
She agreed that the terms included the waiving of all liabilities of the club, which was sufficient to amount to an acceptance of the investment risk.
In their defence, the accused women denied receiving any money from the complainant.