Sep 27, 2017

Chancery building purchase case against Jaliya on Sept. 29 Featured

The Colombo magistrate’s court will take up on September 29 the case pertaining to a financial fraud accusation against former ambassador to the US Jaliya Wickramasuriya in the purchase of a chancery building for the embassy.

The property at 3025, Whitehaven Street, NW, Washington D.C. 20008 was purchased on 23 October 2012 with approval of the US Department of State.

Weiss LLP, Attorneys and Counsellor at Law that provided the legal services for the transaction had informed ambassador Wickramasuriya the price would not exceed 6,600,000 USD, including all fees.

As per the settlement statement dated 16 January 2013, the contract sales price of the property was 6,250,000 USD, with 30,236 USD added as the settlement charge to the embassy.

Accordingly the gross amount to be paid by the embassy was 6,280,236 USD.

It paid a 625,000 advance payment, a 5,975,000 USD second payment and 12,263.35 USD as city tax return.

Therefore, the total amount paid by the embassy was 6,612,263.35 USD, and it had made an over-payment of 332,027.35 USD.

The overpaid amount should have been deposited in the embassy account by 16 January 2013, but the agent of the embassy, Jack Shoptaw, had sent a cashier’s check (no. 00171359) dated 22 October 2013 to the embassy.

It is not clear why that money had not been deposited in the embasy account by the time the settlement statement was issued and where that money had gone during the period from 16 January 2013 to 22 October 2013.

The FCID is investigating the transaction.


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