WEDNESDAY, FEB. 22: A former high-ranking government manager and his wife allegedly used more than $500,000 from the public purse to maintain their lifestyle, a jury heard.
Kyril Burrows, 48, and Delcina Bean-Burrows, 49, allegedly had their home built on government’s dime, bought flat screen TVs and pocketed thousands of dollars over a three-year period.
The couple is on trial for fraud against Government for more than $553,000.
There are 35 counts on the indictment with Mr Burrows charged with 15 allegations, Mrs Bean-Burrows charged with two and the couple charged jointly with 18.
Charges are between 2005 and 2008 and are allegations of cheating, money laundering, false accounting, obtaining money transfers by deception and obtaining property by deception.
Mr Burrows and Mrs Bean-Burrows do not have legal representation.
In her opening speech this afternoon, Crown Counsel Susan Mulligan told the jury Mr Burrows was a manager in Works and Engineering for many years.
“You will hear that Mr Burrows used his position of trust to enrich his spouse and himself from the public purse.
“You will hear evidence that Mr Burrows was aware of the policies and knew of his responsibilities but nevertheless, the Crown alleges that he violated the rules and that him and his spouse stole well over $500,000 from the public purse.”
She continued: “You will hear evidence and you will be able to draw inferences based on the defendants own actions that they know that they were not entitled to take money from the government and use it for their own benefit.”
Ms Mulligan said Mr Burrows worked for Government from May 2003 to June 2008 as a building manager for Works and Engineering.
The jury heard he was responsible for all construction work and maintenance throughout government estates.
Mr Burrows had authority to sign off on payments for Works and Engineering.
Each certificate had to be overseen by a superintendent.
Ms Mulligan said the Accountant General would then honour the purchase order and issue a check.
The court heard Mrs Bean-Burrows owned several companies including Rent Tech and Health Tech Renaissance.
Thousands of dollars were allegedly paid to Rent Tech, authorized by Mr Burrows.
“Because Mr Burrows was in a position of authority, it went on for so long until someone figured it out,” Ms Mulligan said.
The court also heard the couple had hired John White and G&M Construction to do work on their Turkey Hill, St George’s home called Teddy Bear Castle between February and June 2006.
The family had moved from the home to Tudor Farm in Southampton, a government property in 2004.
Ms Mulligan told the jury Mr Burrows told Mr White he was a “big wig” in Works and Engineering and government was paying for the construction.
She also said Mr Burrows instructed Mr White to produce invoices of less than $3,000, which ended up being a total of 149 invoices.
Mr White also did work on Mrs Bean-Burrows’ business Triangle Toner and Rare Gifts and that job was also billed to the government.
Allan Foot of ADT Excavating was another company who did work on the Turkey Hill property, the court heard.
Ms Mulligan said on some of the invoices, the description of work had been removed.
The jury were also told the Mr Burrows bought three TVs and a DVD recorder on behalf of Works and Engineering.
But during a police search, two TVs matching the ones bought and the recorder were found in the Tudor Farm home.
Ms Mulligan said in June 2008, suspicions started to arise about Mr Burrows's activity.
He was approached by the former head of Civil Service Kenneth Dill and resigned the following day.
“You may ask yourself why.
“Why would the seemingly well respected and well educated people, one who was well respected in government and one was a successful business owner, why would they risk it all for half a million dollars, building a home and some TVs?
“One obvious thing is to look at the lifestyle they were living at the time and their expenses at the time.
“I would suggest that the Burrows’s got way ahead of themselves and were living well beyond their means.
“They couldn’t afford the work that was being done at Teddy Bear Castle.”
She continued, "They took what didn’t belong to them so that they could save face and finish building their house and live the lifestyle they had become accustomed to.”
The trial continues.