Drama unfolded at the Criminal Court ‘C’ yesterday when government lawyers surprisingly could not produce evidence of US$20,000 counterfeit money for which defendant Margretta Dorbor is being tried in a second degree felony case.
An individual adjudged guilty of a second degree felony will be punished by imprisonment for any term of not more than five years.
The lawyers alleged that it was one of the auditors of the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI), who discovered 200 counterfeit pieces in US$100 bills, amounting to US$20,000.
Prosecutors further alleged that the counterfeit money was found under the desk of defendant Dorbor, a loan officer, assigned at the bank’s Gardnersville branch, concealed in a plastic bag inside a small carton.
But the counterfeit money was not brought to court yesterday.
Prosecutors did not say in whose possession the counterfeit money was kept. Instead they produced their first witness in the person of Francis Jomah, the auditor who allegedly discovered the counterfeit money, to testify.
Normally, at the start of a criminal case, especially in a jury trial, prosecutors usually present their documentary evidence to the court and the trial of fact (jury) on the first day of the case.
In his testimony, which was done in the absence of the counterfeit United States dollars, witness Jomah alleged that he uncovered the counterfeit money when he was instructed by the bank’s management to audit LBDI’s Gardnersville branch, based on allegations of “tampering with depositors’ money.”
“Thereafter it came to the attention of the manger of LBDI that the defendant had been tampering with depositors’ money. My department was contacted to conduct an audit of the Gardnersville branch where the defendant worked,” the prosecution witness alleged in his testimony.
“When we arrived at that bank on December 10, 2010 at 8 a.m., I observed a huge quantity of cash in the amount of Liberian dollars LD$23,715.00 under the desk of the defendant,” he further alleged.
He stated that the money was under the desk of defendant Dorbor in a plastic bag.
“In that plastic I also saw a huge consignment of counterfeit, 200 pieces all in US$100 bills, making a total of US$20, 000.00,” witness Jomah further alleged. The trial continues.