THE businesspeople who self-professed billionaire pastor Vishnu Lutchmansingh allegedly swindled may never be able to recover their money.
Lutchmansingh faced 88 charges of fraud after he allegedly took $3.2 million from several people between 2001 and 2004.
He had allegedly promised to repay the money, with interest, from a 900-billion sterling estate he claimed he was the sole beneficiary following the 1997 death of Buford Keaton of Kentucky, United States.
Lutchmansingh’s death has brought the criminal action to an end.
However, attorney Subhas Panday yesterday told the Express that the alleged victims could file a high court action against Lutchmansingh’s estate.
“If he has anything, they will get their money. If not, they have nothing to get back,” he said.
Panday said should the latter be the case, a “hollow judgment” will be delivered before the High Court.
In 2012, Senior Magistrate Indra Ramoo-Haynes found there was sufficient evidence to have Lutchmansingh face a judge and jury on one of the 35 charges, in which managing director of Nutrimix Shaheed Mohammed was the alleged victim.
Lutchmansingh, who was being represented by attorney Sash Permanand, was on $75,000 bail on this matter which proceeded by way of paper committal--a faster process than a preliminary enquiry. He was on $4.7 million bail to cover the other charges.
On Monday, Lutchmansingh shot his brother to death on an agricultural development in Chin Chin Road, Cunupia, ran over his nephew with his car at Savary Road Extension, and entered a small house that he set on fire before shooting himself.
When Mohammed’s matter is called before the San Fernando High Court, his death certificate will be handed over to the judge and the case will come to an end, the Express was told
On June 23—the day Lutchmansingh had been ordered to return to magistrates’ court on several of the fraud charges—the prosecution is expected to explain that the matter will be unable to go forward as the accused had died. His death certificate will be presented to the magistrate.