Former Cabinet Minister Lanisha Rolle and husband granted bail following multiple charges of fraud…

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Vontenken and Lanisha Rolle

NASSAU| Former Free National Movement Cabinet Minister Lanisha Rolle has been granted bail in the amount of $120,000 after she and her husband Vontenken Rolle were charged in the Magistrates Court this morning on a total of 17 fraud-related charges.

Charges include bribery and conspiracy to commit fraud by false pretenses.

Mr. Rolle, who faces one charge, was granted $50,000 bail.

The couple entered not guilty pleas.

Also charged in the matter was Alfred Mortimer bail is $10k, Godfrey Luke Burrows bail is $10k and Wilfred Rolle bail $10k.

Magistrate Carolyn Vogt Evans read the charges; too long to be listed.

Their arraignment comes two months after police questioned the former Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture in relation to the award of contracts in her ministry.

Rolle, who served as Minister under the Minnis Administration, has been the subject of intense scrutiny after she unexpectedly resigned from her cabinet post in 2021 and was denied another nomination by the Free National Movement ahead of the 2021 General Election.

Last year, Rolle defended her record as a minister amid speculation that she was being investigated by police.

“I stand by my record that as minister, as far as I am aware, all proper procedures were followed, as far as I was aware as minister,” Rolle said.

“A minister does not know everything in a ministry at any given time. So, to the best of my knowledge, everything, as it relates to me, there were protocols, there were persons in places who should have followed protocols and I believe that they did.

“Where they did not, whatever investigations or inquiries will reveal whatever process was or was not followed.”

It is believed that Rolle resigned in 2021 following an audit of her ministry.

The audit revealed that several people were hired by the National Sports Authority (NSA) without board approval, without positions being advertised. In one instance, an employee’s salary exceeded the “midpoint” range of $50,000.

Auditors also discovered that a December 14, 2020 contract, valued at $168,000, was signed “without board approval”.