Another Grand Bahama businesswoman is wanted for questioning by police for fraud, after dozens of intended homeowners came forward when their deal went sour.
Police say 57-year-old Daisymae Johnson was acting as a real estate agent and collected down payment from customers between 2009 and 2010 for houses and property in the Heritage, Chesapeake and Eastern areas of Freeport which they never received.
Detectives from the Commercial Crime Section in Grand Bahama are investigating more than 25 fraud cases in connection with the matter and, yesterday, police issued a wanted poster for Johnson.
In fact, Johnson, who purported to The Freeport News back in November of 2009 that she was the chief executive officer and chairman of Gibraltar Real Estate and Land Development Company, came under heavy fire in May of that year from irate clients who were demanding a refund of their deposits for their home that never materialized.
The homes were promised to be completed in three months.
Johnson had revealed then that the company was going to pay out some $87,000 to those individuals in “short order.”
But, one of them, Nanet Bowleg, who paid Gibraltar $6,000 in January 2009, took Johnson to court after she was given the runaround and had been the recipient of a number of bounced checks.
She was eventually refunded $2,500 in cash and, at last report, was seeking the balance with the assistance of the court.
She and Johnson made an appearance in a Freeport Magistrates court and a judgement was made in Bowleg’s favour.
However, Johnson appealed the magistrate’s decision.
After Johnson failed to show for the next scheduled date and a bench warrant was ordered.
On November 10, 2009, Johnson issued a release in which she revealed that the company would be remaining closed until investors she was in discussions with were given final approval by the Central bank and funds were placed in the company’s account.
That day, she was arrested for stealing by reason of service following claims from several customers that they had given her money and promised a new home in return.
Johnson spent 18 days at Her Majesty’s Prison, Fox Hill, on a warrant of committal and was released.
Other clients, including Christopher Missick and Rochelle Stubbs, also reported that they had each paid Johnson $10,000.
Ella Pratt, a single mother who paid $8,000 to Gibraltar, said she, too, was excited over the prospects of owning her own home.
She pointed out that that money was basically all she had at the time and she was even shown the property on which her three bedroom, two bath home would be built.
“It was my last and I think they took it (the money) out the next day,” she remembered.
In fact, she, like others, even attended a groundbreaking ceremony for the project.
“I am hopeful that I will get my money back, but I don’t know where she is going to get it from because she said she didn’t have the money. So I don’t know where the money went,” said Pratt.
Police say Johnson was not authorized to sell the properties she had shown to the customers during the negotiations and could face fraud by false pretense charges.
Eunice Morris, proprietor of Morris Travel Management Services, is reportedly another Grand Bahama businesswoman police want to question in connection with recent claims filed against her over a cruise vacation gone bad.
While the police believe Johnson is still in The Bahamas, they are asking the public to assist them in providing any information regarding her whereabouts by contacting them at 350-3107/8, 911 or at the Central Detective Unit 352-9774/5.
By LEDEDRA MARCHE
Freeport News Senior Reporter