Tuesday, February 20, 2018

...Pastor was to face trial on 88 fraud charges

PASTOR Vishnu Lutchmansingh, the self-professed billionaire who on Monday killed his brother before committing suicide, was expected to go on trial this year for fraud. 

In 2012, Lutchmansingh had been committed by Senior Magistrate Indra Ramoo-Haynes to stand trial in the High Court for allegedly defrauding managing director of Nutri­mix Shaheed Mo­ham­med and other persons.

Lutchmansingh faced a total of 88 charges that he allegedly defrauded Mohammed and other persons of $3.2 million, between 2001 and 2004. 

It was alleged the pastor defraud-

ed Mohammed of $2 million; en­tre­preneurs Janet and John Ray­mond of $580,000; businessman James Ferdinand of $200,000; and was also alleged to have swindled another businessman, Errol Ramlal, of $240,000 for services rendered at his chapel in Cunupia. 

It was alleged Lutchmansingh borrowed the money and promised to repay ten times more than what he was loaned from the billion-dollar inheritance he claimed to have been left to him by Buford Keaton, of Kentucky, United States. 

Keaton died in 1997 and Lutchmansingh claimed Keaton had left an estate worth £900 billion and he (Lutchmansingh) was the sole beneficiary of Keaton’s will. 

The victims made out the cheques to Lutchmansingh at Republic Bank, First Citizens and RBC Roy­al Bank at Marabella; Point Lisas; Independence Square, Port of Spain; and San Fernando. 

The charges were laid by Inspector Andrew John of the Fraud Squad. 

Upon his first appearance in the San Fernando Magistrates’ Court before deputy Chief Magistrate Mark Wellington, the pastor was granted $4.7 million bail, which covers the other charges.

Dr Ashram Bissoondath, of San Fernando, had stood his bail. 

On Monday, after an alleged dispute over an inheritance of a parcel of land owned by Lutchmansingh and his siblings, the pastor shot dead his brother, Kishan Lutchmansingh at an agricultural development in Chin Chin Road, Cunupia.  

The pastor was seen quarrelling with his brother before he shot him several times. 

Lutchmansingh then drove to Savary Road Extension where he struck his nephew Timothy Janitan with the vehicle. 

The pastor then entered a small house where he set the building on fire, then shot himself. 

Pathologist Dr Hughvon Des Vignes performed the autopsies on Lutchmansingh and his brother at the Forensic Science Centre in Fede­ration Park, yesterday. 

Lutchmansingh’s brother died of multiple gunshot wounds.