An Arouca mother of two accused of impersonating an attorney to defraud seven people was yesterday granted $450,000 bail.
Rose Smith, also known as Rose Howai, 40, of Cedar Drive, Arouca, was granted the bail when she appeared before Port-of-Spain Magistrate Cheron Raphael charged with offences allegedly committed between 2010 and last year.
She is accused of defrauding four of her victims, from Port-of-Spain and San Juan, of a total of $321,430 and US$3,391. Her three other victims, from Maloney, Arouca and Piarco, were allegedly defrauded of $132,410.
Smith allegedly took the money from her victims to resolve their various and unconnected long-standing court cases.
She pleaded not guilty to the four charges which took place in Port-of-Spain and San Juan but was not called upon to plead on the remaining charges which have been transferred to the Arima Magistrates Court.
Police prosecutor Joseph Logan objected to bail for Smith, who was arrested by Fraud Squad detectives near the Hall of Justice in Port-of-Spain, last Wednesday.
He told the court the police had an issue in confirming Smith’s address because when they visited the property her ex-husband told them she no longer lived there.
Logan also claimed Smith had been charged with a similar offence last October and failed to report to police weekly as required under the terms of her bail.
However, Smith’s lawyer Herbert Charles denied the police’s claims about her address. He told the court the couple was not separated and his client’s reporting conditions had been removed by the magistrate hearing the previous case.
After hearing both sets of submissions, Raphael granted Smith bail only for the matters before her. As part of the conditions of bail, she was ordered to report to the Arouca Police Station four times weekly.
Smith remained in custody, however, as she has to wait to appear in Arima, next Wednesday on the remaining charges.
In September 2007, Smith was screened and selected by the People’s National Movement (PNM) to contest the Arouca/Maloney seat in that year’s general election. Her nomination was withdrawn after she was charged with five unrelated fraud offences. She is expected to reappear before Raphael on May 5.