Lorraine Smith, pictured, took the stand this afternoon in Supreme Court and told the jury it was her grandmother Lenice Tucker’s idea to add her and sister Audra-Ann Bean, 44, to the bank accounts. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
Lorraine Smith, pictured, took the stand this afternoon in Supreme Court and told the jury it was her grandmother Lenice Tucker’s idea to add her and sister Audra-Ann Bean, 44, to the bank accounts. *Photo by Kageaki Smith

FRIDAY, APR. 20: A lawyer advised two sisters to transfer their grandmother’s money into their own bank account to protect it from their druggie father, a court heard today.

Lorraine Smith, 46, took the stand this afternoon in Supreme Court and told the jury it was her grandmother Lenice Tucker’s idea to add her and sister Audra-Ann Bean, 44, to the bank accounts.

Ms Smith and Ms Bean deny financially exploiting Ms Tucker, 87, and stealing nearly half a million dollars from her between July 2010 and January 2011.

The witness recalled growing up around her grandmother and told the jury she often ran errands for her over the years.

Ms Smith referred to Ms Tucker as “Len”.

This afternoon, Ms Smith said her Ms Bean met with lawyer Myron Simmons to discuss their grandmother’s inheritance from her sister Lesseline Tucker.

Ms Smith said she was worried her father Ivan Bean would try to take money for his drug habit.

The witness was also worried because a man called Kelly who did odd jobs for her Aunt Lesseline passed insisted the aunt had left him money, despite nothing being said in the will.

Ms Smith told the jury she went to HSBC and Butterfield Bank with her sister and grandmother because Ms Tucker wanted to add the sisters to the bank accounts.

Instead, Ms Tucker’s accounts were closed and new accounts with all three women were opened.

Asked by lawyer Larry Mussenden about Mr Simmons’s advice, Ms Smith said: “He advised us that we should transfer the money into Audra-Ann’s and my name.

“They wouldn’t be able to take Len to get the money.”

Ms Smith said she and her sister had a conversation with Ms Tucker and told her there were various legal expenses that had to be paid.

The witness told the jury she took care of her grandmother’s household by paying the bills and buying groceries.

Her aunt Marjorie lived there as well.

Ms Smith said she often took money out of the account for Aunt Marjorie and Ms Tucker.

Mr Mussenden said: “Did you ask Len about the money?”

Ms Smith said: “Yes, I knew who she was getting it for, she was getting it for my daddy.”

The witness told the court things changed on October 8 when her mother called her after seeing Mr Bean and Kelly in the bank.

“I thought that Ivan and Kelly were in the bank trying to get money”, she said.

Ms Smith told the jury she called her sister to tell her and they went to Butterfield Bank to move the money.

“When we met with Linda Wilson at the bank, I explained why we were there to transfer the money from those accounts to the account and the reason why is because Ivan and Kelly were seen in the bank and because of Ivan’s addiction and Kelly saying he wanted his money, we transferred the money.”

Ms Smith admitted she didn’t tell her grandmother before doing it but said she did it to protect the money.

Asked if it was her intention to tell Ms Tucker, Ms Smith said yes.

She added she believed her grandmother would have been okay with the transfer.

Ms Smith said she went to HSBC with Ms Bean and did the same thing there.

The witness said she had a conversation with her grandmother that following Sunday.

“I told Len that Audra-Ann and I transferred the money to another account because of Ivan’s lifestyle and because Kelly was asking for money, we had to move the money.

“She didn’t have a reaction and she didn’t even make a comment about it.”

Ms Smith said a few days later her grandmother said she went to the bank to get money and the money had been moved.

The witness told the jury she reminded her grandmother she had moved the money and Ms Tucker said she remembered.

The trial continues.