Fyzabad principal and PE teacher charged with six counts of fraud each over SSFL scandal

Fyzabad Secondary principal Troy Jebodhsingh and physical education teacher Nigel Lakhan appeared before a San Fernando court today on multiple fraud-related offences related to their registration of school footballers Dez Jones and Maurice Dick.

Jones, a former Siparia Secondary student who captained Fyzabad Secondary this season, and Dick, a former Moruga Secondary student, were both enrolled in lower sixth form on the basis of fraudulent CXC transcripts, which claimed they had four passes each.

Photo: Fyzabad Secondary principal Troy Jebodhsingh.
(Courtesy Expression House Media/Wired868)

The Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Executive unearthed the discrepancy—after a probe was requested by Trinity College Moka—and the matter was relayed to the Ministry of Education and then the Fraud Squad. Fyzabad were ejected from the SSFL Premier Division while Jebodhsingh subsequently suspended his team’s entire football programme in both the girls’ and boys’ divisions.

Jebodsingh, 50, faces six charges which include four counts of misbehaviour in public office and two counts of uttering forged CXC certificates. The school principal, who was a police officer for four years, has been in the Teaching Service for 27 years. He was represented by attorney Chateram Sinanan.

Lakhan, 41, will also answer six charges, two counts of uttering forged certificates to school supervisor Zabeedah Abid, two for uttering forged application forms to the SSFL and two counts of forgery. The PE teacher has been a member of the Teaching Service for 21 years. He was represented by attorney Chris Ramlal.

The DPP on Wednesday evening advised the police to charge the two teachers, following investigations led by Head of the Fraud Squad, Totaram Dookhie. The charges were laid by Sergeant Earl Smith of the Fraud Squad.

Jones and Dick were questioned but not charged while coach Brian Williams, a Trinidad and Tobago national youth team coach and former Strike Squad standout, was not implicated.

Photo: Fyzabad Secondary head coach Brian Williams gives instructions to his squad during SSFL action against Trinity College East on 20 September at Trincity.
Looking on are (from right to left) assistant coach Kerry Jamerson, team manager Nigel Lakhan and principal Troy Jebodhsingh.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

Jones and Dick maintained that they had no part in the fraud. Both teenagers told Wired868, in an interview last month, that Lakhan requested their exam certificates and never returned them. They were then told that they would be allowed to enter Form Six at the school.

“I just carried what the school asked for, [which was] my original document and birth paper,” said Dick. “I don’t know what they did after that… It is really the administration in the school and whoever had my certificate at the time.”

Dick, who had just one CXC pass in physical education, was taking sixth form classes in business, accounts, physical education, entrepreneurship and communication when the fraud was discovered.

When last month Wired868 contacted Jones, who had two CXC passes, he was not sure what form or class he was supposed to be in—despite already being six weeks into the school term. When the Fraud Squad interviewed the two players, they are believed to have found Jones working on a construction site.

“They asked if I want to come back and play school football,” said Jones, in a previous interview. “And I said ‘yeah, I want to come and play.’ And then I went training…”

Photo: The Fyzabad Secondary team pose before kick-off against Trinity College East on 20 September at Trincity.
Maurice Dick (bottom row, far left) and Dez Jones (top row, far right) were both in the starting line-up.
(Courtesy Allan V Crane/CA-Images/Wired868)

Lakhan and Fyzabad vice-principal Suresh Roopnarine told the SSFL that the two boys duped them and somehow danced around the process for vetting students, which saw their documents pass through the school’s screening committee, Principal Jebodhsingh and the school supervisor.

However, only Lakhan and Jebodhsingh will answer for the crime in court.

Both Jebodhsingh and Lakhan were placed on a total of TT$120,000 bail with a total cash alternative of TT$15,000. The principal’s bail will cover the matters in San Fernando and Siparia while Lakhan’s will cover the charges in the three areas, San Fernando, Couva and Siparia.

They will both reappear in the different courts next week.

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About Lasana Liburd

Lasana Liburd is the managing director and chief editor at Wired868.com and a journalist with over 20 years experience at several Trinidad and Tobago and international publications including Play the Game, World Soccer, UK Guardian and the Trinidad Express.

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  1. Does anybody know if this case is still ongoing?

  2. this occurs when u wanna win at any cost possible. sorry it reach to this but we can’t tolerate this in our society anymore. This has happened in the pass but i don’t have court clothes as far back as 2003, if my memory serves me right and i wouldn’t doubt prior to that as well.

  3. Longest rope have an end..they cheat so much to win n game. Now they Lost.. Mark Chatoor

  4. Everyone on football today. BUT Mark my words…..CRICKET Worse…

  5. What about the fraud in prestigious schools. Always the small dey made to pay. This going on long time even before fyzabad.

  6. I think the time has come too stop allowing schools to draft palyers from other schools. I think that there is a serious ethical problem in what seems too be the norm in school football. The prestigious schools get away with this all the time they are not interested in the children’s education because they are considered footballers. The Min of Educatiion needs to take a stance on this.

  7. Thanks to Trinity College for bringing this to the light❤

  8. Camille Bradshaw please be more specific, I did not mention anyone,s DNA.

  9. Football so important dat u throw away all u ve worked fr over d years.. ur reputation ???

  10. Your DNA comment pretty much showed your intent….

  11. For f—ing football?? Alyuh should get jail for life for being so stupid lollllll.

  12. Investigate all schools in SSFL/Intercol

  13. Lasana Liburd but it is not ridiculous and incorrect to clandestinely suggest that murder, rape, robbery etc are committed by another race, and where in my post did I mention the word indian. U people are so selective when commenting and further I think Shane McCutcheon could defend himself unless he is a moron.

  14. I not feeling sorry for d principal he to nasty I remember every other morning i in d office wen i was going penal jr sec because of him and i sure plenty other students cud say d same, well i guess ur wicked deeds catch up with u now

  15. Then we blame the children for their behaviour

  16. All this being said where we’re the parents of these young men who would had to go into school to seek them getting enrolled in the system this case is different because unlike other schools that may be taking players from other schools to play football these 2 actually tampered with a government document not just say they have the required subjects they actually remake over a new cxc certificate stating the boys had the required subjects hence the fraud charges .

  17. The supreme tragedy of this case is that it sits at the fundamental tenet of national development.. teaching and shaping the young. If we cannot trust teachers to inculcate good values, steadfast ethics and morality , then the nation CANNOT remove itself from the clutches and torture of CORRUPTION?

    • As a teacher, I am sick and tired of everyone making us the bobolees for every ill in society! Yes teachers were involved in this travesty and they will pay a high price for it but there are bad apples in every corner of soceity. What about the parents? Don’t they have a part to play as well? Teachers are not the first link in according to you ‘inculcating good values, steadfast ethics and morality’ it starts in the home. Many times by the time the children get to us they are so tainted by the environment that they come from and that they go back to on a daily basis that our job is made that much more difficult. This couplef with the fact that when as a teacher you do try to inculcate good values etc etc you are faced with belligerent and sometimes ignorant parents! So please m’am stop the teacher bashing, we are not responsible for the ills of society, yes we have a part to play as does everyone else!

    • Did I ever say the teacher is the “first link”? These are NOT isolated cases. This is just but one instance . I am a teacher (even though retired) one never stops teaching. Teachers have cheated at CE, then it became SEA and they cheat, at school sports they cheat, Continuous Assessment they have cheated. In the teaching fraternity the stories are well known. I am not bashing A PERSON. I am explaining a well known ocurrence .

    • Think on this. Regardless of WHO falls down on the job, the TEACHER is that. A TEACHER to TEACH what is right, good, honest and true.

    • Think on this as well. Parents are the first link to good values and morals. Are these two teachers parents? Are they teaching good values and morals to their offspring?

    • Never said you were bashing a person, just tired of the lumping of all teachers in the same barrel. Have all teachers cheated at the numerous events that you mentioned? Also I believe that I did say that teachers have a part to play in teaching what is ‘right, good, honest and true’.

  18. Shane McCutcheon don’t stoop to the same level. Joy, it is ridiculous and incorrect to suggest that fraud and corruption are indian traits. And, of course, it is racist.
    Please don’t let this be a place for racist remarks.

  19. How come it’s not so easy to jail the rich and famous in sweet T&T?

  20. Jail those Jackasses, The Principal not studying the Children’s Education but more interested in Football. Oh Please, Make an Example of Him, give him the Maximum Penalty and as for the PE Teacher, who is concerned about Trophies, he will get some in Jail, Make an Example of him Too.

  21. Some people do the most dishonest thing causing themselves shame and not knowing how many arw like them doing these shit.while some bussing their brains others have it easy

  22. Years ago Dom Basil Matthew of Mt St Benidict fielded one of the strongest college sides, to name one of the players as I may recall was Archibald, similarly only to discover that a couple of the players were over aged he was not charged for fraud but only to leave in disgrace, which I think was just enough for a simple misdeed as such. The teachers should have been let off with a warning. Fraud.. come on.

  23. Just as the insinuation that murder, rape etc is synonymous with another race as was hidden in Shane McCutcheon,s post. Why didn’t u comment on his post as well.

  24. Joy Davis and Theresa Conliffe are you saying that corrupt acts are synonymous with a particular race? That’s where this discussion reached? We really are in a bad place in this country….

  25. It is not the first time. And recruiting students as footballers must stop. Use what you have.

  26. I wish we could deal with dishonest Politicians as swiftly and decisively as this!!!

  27. Tea chers remember you are supposed to be role models!Investigate all participating schools! A breakdown in everything in society!

  28. Soo, all Police and Defence Force players were recruited in “recruiting drives” or by special privilege? I’m not condoning, but possible jail time seems kinda harsh. Then too, think about the affected young men!! There is a large elephant in the room!!!

  29. They have a good academic program and the principal and Lakkan falcying papers in order for the players to represent their school and I will bet 1 million monies just maybe it wasn’t the first time that they did that madness eh, it is just that that finally they was exposed and got caught. Them really goood yes.

  30. Hope the fraud squad investigate all the league players to show they really serious.

  31. Be clear..very clear…Fyzabad Sec serves a catchment area within which there is a rising business caste..There is no prestige school in the area a la Pres Chaguanas or Shiva in the East…This school was being built up..It is a large school and has good sporting and P.e programmes..I have interacted with the school through sports..Football was one of the means to this end..Remember the school would, unlike some of the other schools in the North , has a good academic programme. These accused must be asking “Why us?”. So many other irregularities are abided in public life!!!

  32. Just more of the false papers posse what about the rest of false papers good for one good for all

  33. Aranguez government primary school PTA

  34. Racist equals Sat and I leave it right there

  35. I have a school in mind to follow suit… with some very malicious administrators.

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