PR scammer convicted by judge

| 22/12/2015 | 31 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cayman Islands courts, George Town (Photo by Jaida Alexander)

(CNS): A George Town woman has been convicted on six counts of obtaining property by deception in connection with an organised permanent residency scam involving at least three women. Marcia Hamilton, a Jamaican national who received status during the 2003 mass grant, denied the charges, claiming she was not part of a conspiracy because she believed the PR offer she assisted with was a legitimate scheme by the then UDP government to raise fees to address the deficit.

However, the offer, which involved many victims, was a con and the judge ruled that Hamilton knew full well that the people she and her co-accused scammed for $2,500 each were never going to get PR.

Last October Hamilton opted to be tried by judge alone after one of her co-accused, Judith Douglas, pleaded guilty to similar offences and the third woman, Kathleen Davis, fled the country and never returned once the police investigation began.

The detailed verdict was read by the trial judge, Justice Charles Quin, on Tuesday morning outlining his reasons for convicting Hamilton for her part in the fraud, which took place between October 2009 and April 2010.

The exact number of victims have not been confirmed but lists of names and documented cash payments found in Hamilton’s car and home suggested that dozens of people could have all paid fees of $2,500 to the women in order to secure what they all believed would be the right to live and work in the Cayman Islands.

Justice Quin said he found the evidence was overwhelming that Hamilton acted together with the two other women to deliberately defraud their victims. He described the receipts, ledgers and documentation found in Hamilton’s possession as damning evidence that showed she was, as the crown claimed, “the money lady” in the scheme and that she was not just assisting friends and family to help them get PR.

The judge described Hamilton as an “intelligent and resourceful” woman who ran a business and who was familiar with the immigration system and would have known how the system really works to get residency. When many of the victims began asking for their money back, she never suggested they should go to the police or directly to immigration but told them to be patient.

Justice Quin said he found her testimony to be incredible and implausible as she switched her story and shifted her position to cover up the lies she had told. Entirely rejecting her defence that she believed it was a legitimate scheme, the judge convicted her on six out of eight counts because he said in two cases there was insufficient evidence to suggest she was involved.

Hamilton will be sentenced alongside Douglas, who pleaded guilty some time ago. Following the verdict both women were bailed to return to court on 25 February next year to learn their fate. Meanwhile, the crown confirmed that they had been unable to locate the third woman, Kathleen Davis, who is also a Jamaican national and who left Cayman before she was charged.

Woman denies $27k PR scam

Woman denies being part of PR con


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Comments (31)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    She knew very well what she was doing? I happen to meet them but was wise enough to know this was a scam.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if one of the “golden gun” robbers who was granted status a few years ago will have it recoked after he comes out of prison?

  3. Anonymous says:

    “Marcia Hamilton, a Jamaican national who received status during the 2003 mass grant” or out another way, “Marcia Hamilton, a Caymanian”. The latter option does not pander to the prejudice of racists so much.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, unless she is naturalized she is properly described as a Jamaican national with Caymanian status.

      I will however refer to her in far less polite terms.

  4. Anonymous says:

    I am curious to see if either or both women try to flee. Both are Jamaicans by origin so they have another country to go to and one already did the sensible thing knowing her guilt and fled before being charged. Let’s see!

    • Anonymous says:

      Secure your boats people!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Is the one that ran in Jamaica? Is Jamaica helping to find that criminal and send her to us to face justice? No? Thought not..

      When are we going to learn, Cayman?

  5. Anonymous says:

    Is anyone prosecuting the so called victims of this fraud? It seems they at best thought they were getting a little special treatment through side channels, and should certainly not be allowed to remain here.

    • Anonymous says:

      Some of these are simple people and that’s a lot of money for them. They’re not sophisticated investors who should know better. They are victims of unscrupulous persons. Try not to forget that. Either way the criminals got caught.

      • Anonymous says:

        Really now…..

      • Anonymous says:

        So they are poor, unsophisticated, uneducated foreign nationals who thought it perfectly acceptable to pay someone money on the side to get to stay. Sure… And that is the problem. Just because that kind of conduct is normal in their homeland, we forgive it and tell them it is OK when they do it here. It is not OK. It is feeding corruption and we should be incensed by it.

    • Anonymous says:

      She should serve her time and then be deported.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Thanks UDP. Now do you all understand why the proper vetting process should have been used? Thanks to your stupidity we now have lots of similar minded Caymanians.

    I hope her status can be revoked and that she is deported following her time in jail.

  7. SSM345 says:

    I hope they took their passports.

  8. Anonymous says:

    revoke status

    • Anonymous says:

      Highly unlikely. I understand that the status granted it that time cannot be revoked?? Not sure but that is what I understand.

      • Anonymous says:

        Section 28 of the Immigration Law confirms it can be revoked in appropriate circumstances (including these).

        • Anonymous says:

          But that section must be read as subject to Article 8 ECHR which would prevent the revocation after this length of residency. Won’t happen.

          • Anonymous says:

            Do it, and let her challenge it from the cess pit we have returned her to in the interim.

            • Anonymous says:

              It doesn’t work like that, the Court would restrain deportation until the challenge was resolved.

              • Anonymous says:

                Do not be so sure. Status does not equate to citizenship, and issues such as the extent to which she has assimilated into Caymanian culture (or remained culturally Jamaican) as well as where here family, assets and other connections are remain relevant. I bet in normal circumstances she would still often “go home” to Jamaica for Christmas etc. and possibly has a home there. If so, article 8 considerations become irrelevant.

                So Alden, over to you.

              • Anonymous says:

                If someone was treated like that I would offer help for free if they did not get legal aid.

                • Anonymous says:

                  Ever help a born Caymanian in need for free with those exceptional (although in this case possibly mistaken) legal skills?

        • Anonymous says:

          “Marcia Hamilton, a Jamaican national who received status during the 2003 mass grant” or out another way, “Marcia Hamilton, a Caymanian”.

    • Anonymous says:

      Absolutely, but does the Cabinet have the guts and destroy the myth of the grants being irrevocable? They gave it to her, so only they can take it away. Section 28 of the Immigration Law confirms exactly what they have the power to do in these circumstances. Will they?

      • Anonymous says:

        Hey Alden. By not taking it away, you are every bit as responsible for her grant as the idiots that gave it to her. You going to do what is right, or just cow tow to the lovers of corruption that continue to grow their hold on Cayman?

    • Anonymous says:

      take back status grants 2003

      • Debbie says:

        Justice justice excellent work by the police civil servants and DPP and a great judge and jury.

        I say 5 years in fair banks should send the right message

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