Two Arrested for Diverting Gov't Education Grants to Fund Non-existent Schools

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Thursday, 23 June 2011 13:31

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PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - Two government employees at the Ministry of Education (MENFP) have been arrested for forging signatures and diverting funds to rebuild schools, damaged by the earthquake of 2010, into their personal accounts.

The Police Nationale d'Haiti (PNH) arrested Ingride Figaro and Jean-Pierre Mignard for the misappropriation of more than a half million dollars in grants and other donations to schools that did not exist.

Investigator Frantz Thermilus told Le Nouvelliste, 12 were interviewed in connection to the case for forgery, fraud, misappropriation, laundering and criminal association. The persons interviewed had used checks issued by the National Bank of Credit, counterfeit checks, false documents and also attempted to divert another $200,000 said Thermilus.

The crimes were brought to light when withdrawals from the MENFP 2010 program, "Support for the Revitalization of Schools and Activities", were made but were not entered into the department's audit records. This inconsistency led to the investigation, where it was found that checks were cashed having not been signed by the appropriate authority but instead forged.

After the earthquake of January 12, 2010, many schools were either destroyed or severely damaged. Former President Réne Préval poured $5 million into the project which helped some classes resume in the fall of 2010.

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Source: {japopup type="iframe" content=""}Le Nouvelliste{/japopup}