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Former World Business Lenders payroll manager Kerrie-Anne Murray.

EDA task force asked to refer witness to AG for perjury prosecution

World Business Lenders says Kerrie-Ann Murray lied during testimony, claims task force wouldn’t allow them to offer rebuttal

By David Wildstein, May 03 2019 3:37 pm

World Business Lenders has called on the task force investing the New Jersey Economic Development Authority tax incentives program to refer Kerrie-Ann Murray to the state attorney general for prosecution on perjury charges.

Murray, characterized by WBL as a disgruntled former employee with a history of making false statements, testified before the task force as a whistleblower yesterday.

WBL says their attorney warned the task force that Murray would lie under oath and unsuccessfully sought a delay so the company could provide evidence of discrepancies in Murray’s story.

“There is clear evidence that Kerrie-Ann Murray testified falsely” said Stephanie Hamilton, the Human Resources director for WBL.  “We believe the Task Force should refer Ms. Murray to Attorney General Grewal to determine whether she committed the criminal offense of perjury.”

Murray testified that WBL terminated an employee in New York four years ago before relocating to New Jersey, but then gave her an extended severance package to inflate an employee headcount reported to the EDA.  That employee never existed, WBL claims.

She also alleged that WBL made hires just to meet the EDA employee headcounts needed for the Grown NJ award and  then fired them.

“That is false.  World Business Lenders brought 124 employees to New Jersey from New York in July, 2016. By the end of 2016, that employee count had grown to 213 women and men,” a company statement saidi.  “Following a downturn in the fintech market during the second half of 2016, WBL reduced its payroll to 135 employees in January, 2017. As a result, it did not apply for or seek a Grow NJ award for 2017.  Today, the company employs more than 190 employees in New Jersey.”

WBL maintains that Murray “testified falsely that she did know why a number of jobs were eliminated in early 2017.”

“ In fact, as a member of the human resources team, Murray well knew  why the company was forced to reduce its payroll,” the company said in their statement.  “ Indeed, WBL’s CEO sent an email on January 4, 2017 to every employee – including Murray – detailing the reasons, and the next day held a company-wide town hall to further explain the business rationale for the reduction in force. Importantly, the human resources team, including Murray, was briefed personally on the reasons before and after the email was sent.”

Murray’s accusation that WBL also filed misleading periodic reports with the EDA in 2016 before stopping althoughter is also false, the company said.  

“The evidence clearly shows that the company has complied with all of its obligations to file reports with the EDA every year and continues to do so,” the WBL statement said.

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