Police investigators have moved in on yet another suspect in connection with a United States visa scam, which is said to have been operating in the country for more than two decades.
54 year-old businessman, Adrian Penny, of Westerhall, St. David was arrested Monday afternoon at his place of business – Just For Penny (JPL), which operates on top of Market Hill in St. George’s.
The suspect, who is the CEO and owner of JPL, a home-based business which provides services in real estate, sales, rentals, investments and general consulting, has been slapped with nine indictable counts of forgery and six indictable counts of conspiracy.
He is accused of using the JPL letter head to issue false job letters, recommendations and invitation letters for US Visas to at least four individuals during the months of April and June this year.
Represented by veteran Attorney-at-Law, Derrick Sylvester, Penny appeared Tuesday before Chief Magistrate Tamara Gill where bail was granted in the sum of EC$20, 000 with two sureties.
Senior Crown Counsel, Howard Pinnock, did not object to bail for the accused but urged the Chief Magistrate to attach several conditions to the bail.
They includes the surrendering of all travel documents to the court, twice weekly reporting to the Central Police Station on the Carenage on Mondays and Fridays between 6.00 a.m. and 6.00 p.m, no contact with the State witnesses in the case and to seek permission from the court to leave the jurisdiction.
THE NEW TODAY understands that the prosecution has a total of 10 witnesses lined up against Penny – 7 civilians and 3 police officers.
Penny is the fourth person to be charged in connection with the visa scam, which was blown open in October 2015 with the arrest of suspended GFA Technical Director, 46-year-old, Lester Smith of Tempe, St. George, and well-known basketball coach, 56-year-old Nigel “German” Mc Kie, a former resident of The Carenage in St. George’s but now living at a Chinese-donated house at Mt. Gay.
Smith and Mc Kie are jointly facing several indictable charges – 5 counts of forgery, 4 counts of possession of forged document and 1 count of conspiracy to forge.
Apart from the two, police also arrested and charged 31-year-old Concord, St. John resident Gary Stephen, an employee at Photo Max photo studio on St. John’s Street in St. George’s with the Visa racket.
Stephen is facing three indictable charges – forgery, possession of a forged document and conspiracy to utter a forged document.
Penny, the latest suspect in the US Visa scam is scheduled to reappear before the St. George’s Magistrate’s Court on November 18.