Friday, March 1, 2024
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Woman front court, fraud charges

A 36-year-old woman is in police custody and will be produced in the Nadi Magistrate’s Court tomorrow, charged with one count of obtaining financial advantage.

It has been alleged that the woman stole the compensation money, that was awarded to a seven-year-old victim of a vehicle accident.

Police said on the 30th of July 2017, the child was a passenger in a vehicle involved in a fatal accident along the Queens Road, which claimed the life of a 30-year-old woman.

They said following the accident, the head of the learning institution where both accident victims had been attending, decided to pursue civil action against the fatal accident driver, whereby the 36-year-old accused was enlisted to pursue legal action.

They also say as the victim was a foreign student, she was medically evacuated and was being looked after by her family, and as such the manager of the learning institution was granted power of attorney.

On the 27th of November 2017, the accused filed a writ of summons at the Lautoka High Court on behalf of the victim, and later in April 2018, the matter was fixed for trial in April 2019. Subsequent court proceedings then resulted in an agreed settlement of $170,000.

Police said in April 2019, a Notice of Discontinuance was filed by the woman at the Lautoka Civil High Court, and thereafter the matter was called for the review for settlement and an Order of Discontinuance was issued and the matter dismissed.

A bank transfer of $170,000 was made to a trust account belonging to the woman’s law firm.

However, it is alleged that she had continued to advise the victim’s power of attorney and school executive that the matter was still pending in court.

Police said in late June 2022, the woman allegedly informed the victim’s party that a hearing date was set for a date in September and when they checked, the said date fell on a Saturday.

This prompted the party representing the victim to check with the court registry, where they were informed that the matter had been dismissed as both parties had agreed to an out-of-court settlement.

The matter was then reported to Police and investigations conducted by officers from the Criminal Investigations Department Headquarters.

Ilaitia Ravuwai
Ilaitia Ravuwai
Journalist | news@fijilive.com

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