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Jan 23, 2012

Will S.S.B.’s C.E.O. get a write-off?

This week Social Security Board staff members who reportedly reduced their loans to participate in a write-off by the government will be interviewed by the Pannell Kerr Forster accounting firm. Investigations started last week and are ongoing into the insider trading scheme that was stopped when it was exposed in the media. Embattled Social Security Board C.E.O. Merlene Bailey-Martinez was placed on administrative leave on January eleventh pending a financial review.  In the days that followed her suspension Prime Minister Dean Barrow went on record to say that Bailey-Martinez’s S.S.B. mortgage would not be considered under the seventeen and a half million dollar loan write-off.  But her name appeared on a final list of seven hundred and eighty-one names that was circulated at a Special Sitting of the House of Representatives. The addition has sparked further controversy and will also be the focus of the upcoming audit.  According to the P.M., he did not get an opportunity to pore over the list before taking it to the House for approval.

Dean Barrow

Dean Barrow

“The original list that I was given, of course, was provided by S.S.B. It is only S.S.B. that has the records.  When I needed the finalized list to take to the House it was the S.S.B. that of course had the job of providing me with that finalized list.  They had to go over the original list, crosscheck that list against their records and as well they needed to be sure because that was the instruction from government that no S.S.B. employee that had not been on the original list could find his or her way unto the finalized list in view of what had broken out and what we had learned about the attempt to write down loans.  Now I was given the finalized list very, very late I think [it was] Thursday evening.

Merlene Bailey-Martinez

I did not check that list myself.  I relied, as I thought I was entitled to, on S.S.B. who assured me that in fact the list was identical with the original list.  It turned out that Mrs. Bailey-Martinez’s name found its way unto that list.  That has to be, I hope, inadvertence and error on the part of the compilers of the list at S.S.B. If it is not an error then it’s something that was done deliberately and I refuse to believe that.  In any event, what is important and what is clear is that Mrs. Martinez’s loan will not be written off so to the extent that her name is on the list that list will not be honored in that one regard.”

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6 Responses for “Will S.S.B.’s C.E.O. get a write-off?”

  1. Concerned says:

    Then Mr. PM why put her on leave if you beleive she was honest? Politics again! Look, why not give back Belizeans the Millions you have given to Lois your ex wife and stop using this poor lady as your scapegoat, just to try and look like a super hero, just to try to move attention away from the real facts, that you are using our hard earned tax pay to write off loans of people who could afford to pay it, when hundreds of us are struggiling to own something

  2. x says:

    Investigation should not be limited to the SSB. Other Gov. people knew about it and I’m sure this info was leaked to friends and family members. All 781 names shoud be looked at. First look for loans that qualified by going under the 50k thershold recently. Of these loans which loans went under the 50k thershold because of normal monthly payments and which like in the case of SSB qualified with a large last minute payment. These are the loans that sould be red flagged for futher investigation. This is not hard. Any account with access to the loan write of list could give you a red flag list in a day or two. All the red flag loans would then warrent further investigation. Anyone found to have qualifed for the write off because of inside info woud then be removed from the 781 names on the list. This whole process would be very easy and would only take 1 or two good accountants a week or two to complete, but guess what, what I have suggested will never ever happen. God bless Belize, we sure could use your help.

  3. Orangewalkenio says:

    dear X,

    fully agree mein….we need people with real conviction to make this “our jewel” a better place for us and our children from whom we are borrowing it for the meanwhile….

    My government, show us you can do it….take action now….

  4. Storm says:

    Where does the government have the authority to take money from some of us to give it to others who don’t necvessarily need it, to redistribute the fruits of our labour?

    This is just slush-fund, closed-doors Marxism. and Marxism has always and everywhere been corrupted by the nature of men, even if it sounds good in theory. Love of money is the root of all evil, and this practice is EVIL.

  5. home grown says:

    Any bets on the party affiliation of the 781? Let me guess 90% PUP, 9% VIP, 1% UDP.

    If the 781 already had their votes bought, would this be double dipping?

    Don’t investigate anything. This could be unpleasant and people could go to jail. STOP! New law, nobody goes to jail, courts have no jurisdiction. Let’s move on, nothing to see, move along, don’t ask questions.

  6. Earl Grey says:

    Why can’t THEY BUILD A DECENT FOOTBALL STADIUM with that money????

    Instead of just helping the few… HELP THE MANY, a stadium CAN BE USED BY ALL!!!

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