A HIGH COURT judge has set aside a fraudulent deed and ordered it expunged from the land registry.
He also ordered the Registrar of the High Court to send the file to the Commissioner of Police for further investigations to determine if criminal offences were committed.
Justice Ricky Rahim made the orders after ruling that the 2021 deed made out in the name of Zeena Hamid Mohammed, the sister of the woman who filed the lawsuit, was fraudulently prepared.
Sharda Mohammed of Ozone Park, New York, sued her sister Zeena after she discovered there was a new deed for the property her late father left her in Red Hill, D’Abadie.
The deed was purportedly signed by her, prepared by an attorney in Arima and witnessed by the attorney’s law clerk.
Sharda, who testified from New York, at the undefended trial on Monday, said she never signed over the property to her sister Zeena or signed the deed which was registered on April 21, 2021, in the land registry of the Registrar General’s Department of the Ministry of the Attorney General and Legal Affairs.
Her lawsuit said her relationship with her sister took a “precipitous decline” after their father’s death on November 17, 2018, with the latter sending abusive and threatening messages via social media.
She said she stopped communicating with her sister but found out in mid-2021, items belonging to their father and the household on the property were being removed and sold and renovations began.
She said her suspicions were aroused and a title search was done which revealed the new deed which, to her astonishment, claimed that “as a result of the natural love and affection” she (Sharda) bore towards her sister, she agreed to convey the lands to Zeena.
Also testifying was Sharda’s attorney Alana Alexander-Devonshire who prepared the original and authentic deed and also prepared the father’s will in which he left the property to Sharda and made her the sole executor and beneficiary.
Zeena’s attorney was unable to attend Monday’s hearing but did sign an affidavit which the court accepted as his evidence.
In the affidavit, that attorney said while he knew Zeena Hamid Mohammed of Carenage, having done work for her in the past, he did not know Sharda Mohammed nor did he witness her sign a deed. He also said he reviewed his records and found no evidence of preparing the deed or receiving receipts of stamps for the registration of the deed.
He said it was his view the deed was a fraudulent document and his name and office was used “as a vehicle to secure registration” of it.
The attorney also said at the time the deed was allegedly prepared, on March 24, 2020, his office was no longer at Broadway in Arima, as he had relocated his practice to his home because of covid19 and has worked from home ever since.
In his ruling, Rahim said based on the evidence, it was clear the deed was fraudulent.
He set it aside, ordering the Registrar General to cancel it and expunge it from the register. He also issued a perpetual injunction restraining Zeena Hamid Mohamed from entering or carrying out further works on a dwelling house on the property. She was also ordered to pay her sister’s legal costs in the sum of $8,200.
Rahim admitted to being “quite disturbed” by what he had seen but stopped short of making any comments as it related to any individual.
He also said the matter was significant enough for the Registrar of the High Court to refer the file to the Police Commissioner’s office not only in relation to the defendant but any other party the commissioner sees fit to investigate for the possible commission of a criminal offence.
Sharda Mohammed was represented at the trial by attorney Brent Winter.