Messado claims bankruptcy in hearing over $30m debt to Mavado 

Embattled former attorney-at-law Jennifer Messado on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that she is bankrupt during the judgment hearing of a civil case brought by dancehall artiste Mavado against her.

She is to file an affidavit to declare bankruptcy, a move that could thwart the attempt by the artiste to recoup a $30 million debt that is owed to him by the now disbarred attorney.

Messado is represented by attorney Lemar Neale in the civil case that was before the Supreme Court for judgment on Wednesday. The matter has been postponed until July 22.

“Even though she [Messado] has filed for bankruptcy, there are still settlement talks going on,” attorney Christopher Townsend, who represents Messado in criminal matters, told Loop News.

Bankruptcy prevents interest from accruing on debts after the date of the Absolute Order, and any interest due on debts is capped at six per cent with conditions applicable. Creditors whose claims are admitted are only assured of payment once funds are available for distribution from the estate of the bankrupt person.

At the end of March, Mavado vented on social media about the slow pace of his case against the former real estate attorney, Messado, who was allegedly given $30.7 million by the artiste several years ago for a property transaction. The artiste is yet to receive the property, and all his money has not been returned.

In 2018, Mavado received a sum of $8 million from Messado as part of the total sum of $30.7 million owed to him, according to media reports.

At the time, Mavado ranted: “Every time she goes to court, she goes home. Two years ago, she and the court system tried to turn my money into a loan of 150k ($150,000) per month payback (over 20 years to collect) from a 75-year-old. Please remember, I didn’t lend her my money….

“A couple days ago she got an opportunity to write an affidavit to the court saying she has no money to pay, and the reason she should not go to jail. I remember going to this lady’s office for the first time, finding out…, she blatantly told me in front her lawyer (that) there is nothing I can do about my money and she knows who to call.”

Messado allegedly collected the $30.7 million for a property on Grosvenor Terrace in St Andrew. It was later revealed by the owner of the property that he did not give her permission to sell the property.

Media reports have indicated that Messado is facing nearly a dozen fraud and money laundering-related charges in four separate cases. Investigators believe she used forged documents to sell a number of properties, each valued at millions of dollars.

“The criminal matter has to do with allegations of fraudulent conversion, and that will be heard in court on July 29,” said Townsend.