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bluefete
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 9:53 pm 
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Thousands of US dollars missing from Children’s Life Fund

Published on Jul 4, 2015, 9:50 pm AST
Updated on Jul 4, 2015, 9:51 pm AST
By Mark Bassant
CCN Senior Multimedia Investigative Journalist

THOUSANDS of United States dollars have been diverted from the Children's Life Fund Authority (CLFA) bank account, the Authority's former chief executive has alleged.

The well-intentioned fund, a 2011 initiative Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar endorsed by placing part of her monthly salary into it, was designed to cater to sick children who needed life-saving medical procedures.

But a dossier of documents obtained by the Express alleges that money intended for parents accompanying their sick children abroad for surgery, was never received by the parents.
Mark Bassant investigates: Life Fund Scandal - Stealing from children

Over the past two years at least, some of the money promised to the parents of sick children to assist with transport costs remain unaccounted for, with even the current board clueless about the missing money.

Then CEO of the CLFA Genevieve Madoo, who started the job in March 2014, wrote a letter on May 7, 2014 to Minister of Health Dr Fuad Khan about an “...urgent matter involving fraudulent and dangerous activity in respect to the handling of money disbursed for meal allowances and transport at the Children's Life Fund Authority”.

Madoo alleged that a former employee had obtained close to US$7,700 (some TT$50,000) by duping parents into signing receipts for money they were supposed to receive for day-to-day expenses when they travelled with their children for operations in Colombia, Argentina and the United States.

The former employee was suspended and never returned to work.

In attempting to verify if the money was obtained by at least 14 parents at that time, Madoo met with several parents in May 2014.

None recalled obtaining the money, although money was deducted from the CLFA bank account, she explained in her letter to Dr Khan.

As a follow-up to her findings almost a week later, Madoo wrote an official police report to Inspector Romany of the Fraud Squad to report allegations of “fraud and embezzlement” as it pertained to an employee.

Among the parents were Anton Drayton, Nicole Roberts, Catherine Fahey-Anderson, Abdul Mohammed, Giselle Ramlochan, Al Razi Mohammed, Cindy Bridgelal, Sade Ifill, Olivia Galera, Anita Gosine, Tammu Pope, Laura Ramsawak, Endranie Doorgah-Swan and Dilana Peters.

The report stated: “In some cases, the parents have claimed that the signature on the receipt is not their own. In most cases, the parents claim that the signature is theirs but have no clue as to how it appeared on the cash receipt as they had never seen the receipt. There are two cases where parents have said they were given blank pages to sign and told that these are for travel tickets. When they were presented with the cash receipts they said these appear similar to the blank pages that were signed.”

The alleged period of activity, Madoo stated, occurred between September 2013 and April 2014.

The Express obtained at least 14 written testimonials of parents, which the then CEO had handed over not only to the police but to Health Minister Khan in which they all denied receiving any money for their meals and transport.

Madoo had hoped that some follow-up action would have been initiated.

But one year later, the police have been silent on the ongoing investigation, with the Health Minister, in an Express newspaper report on June 20, even denying there was any corruption in the Life Fund last month, .

The Express had originally sent several questions to Prime Minister Persad-Bissesar on Wednesday since the dismissed CEO wrote to her in May.

But Khan contacted the Express early Thursday morning indicating that the Prime Minister had asked him to deal with the questions.

“When I saw it I indicated to Ms Madoo that this is a serious problem,” said Khan.

He said the matter was now in the hands of the police and they were looking into the matter, but they have not reached out to him since the report was made last year.

Outside the remit of the police, did the Children's Life Fund Authority seek any other advice?

Interim chairman of the board Dr Colin Furlonge who was also present during the interview said, “Any investigation that we would do, would actually duplicate what the police were responsible for doing, so we left it in the hands of the police.”

But the Express obtained a private and confidential legal document showing that attorney Rajiv Persad (now a temporary High Court judge and member of the Integrity Commission) indicated that the CLFA sought his advice on issues surrounding the money and the employee and if disciplinary action could be justified.

Persad's advice in his ten-page document to the board stated: “...On numerous occasions persons who were receiving funding from the Authority for medical care for their children were not informed and never received monies for meal allowances in circumstances where the records of the Authority plainly suggest that these persons received such monies for the meal allowances. There is also material to suggest that monies where withdrawn from the bank and given to officials of the Authority. The simple point remains that these monies taken from the fund of the Authority ostensibly for the assistance of family members of patients never found its way to these persons who were entitled to these monies.”

When contacted, Madoo said she could not comment since she was pursuing legal action in relation to her dismissal as CEO.

http://www.trinidadexpress.com/20150704 ... -life-fund


Matthew18:

5 And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.

6 But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.


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shogun
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 10:12 pm 
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They need to call names.

Stealing from sick kids though?.


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playerskrew
PostPosted: Sun Jul 05, 2015 10:27 pm 
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So wam fuh dat everybody teefin money dez days.
Some ppl talking like they wont do the same thing if the see money in front they face and nobody looking. (but that's none of my business)


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jayakamarksman
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 12:29 am 
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Speak as though u have common sense u speak like a common thief


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playerskrew
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 1:07 am 
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jayakamarksman wrote:
Speak as though u have common sense u speak like a common thief

like you never thief nothing...smfh.


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York
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 1:40 am 
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THOUSANDS!!! OK is just 7...


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jayakamarksman
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 6:17 am 
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Of course .knowledge


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lostboys crew
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 6:38 am 
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I doh believe Kams in that is only them wutless employees. [POUTING FACE]


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Kenjo
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 7:11 am 
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Problem is that these employees are born and bred Trinidadians so we need to look at ourselves.


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kaylex
PostPosted: Mon Jul 06, 2015 7:39 am 
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Kenjo wrote:
Problem is that these employees are born and bred Trinidadians so we need to look at ourselves.



Problem is that they are trusted by the guards... Smiling crooks..

You are right we need to look at ourselves ..


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