Judge doesn’t ‘buy’ fraudsters stories

| 18/03/2016 | 10 Comments

ATM scam(CNS): Attempts by a gang of five foreign nationals to minimise their individual parts in a conspiracy to defraud local bank ATMs using cloned credit cards fell on deaf ears and a Grand Court judge found that all four men and one woman played an equal part in the criminal conspiracy. Justice Alastair Malcolm sentenced all of the gang members to between 22 and 30 months jail time, with previous convictions being the only thing that separated the fraudsters.

The judge made it clear he did not believe the stories that the gang had submitted during their sentencing hearing as there was in most of the cases evidence to the contrary and several had lied to police, undermining the veracity of any of their claims.

The judge described the offence as a sophisticated and planned crime in which Nytia Tynea Bradley from the United States, Ayoub Cheaaibi, from the UK, Ovidiu-Giulian Dobrea, Marius-Ioan Bud-Popa and Ionut-Catalin Petcu from Romania had stolen around CI$20,000 in cash and goods. But given the massive amount of cards and cloned details seized when they were arrested, as well as more than 300 failed attempts to get cash from bank machines, the aim of the conspiracy was to get much more, Justice Malcolm said.

Following sentencing guidelines and discounting the sentences for the early pleas, Bradley, Cheaaibi and Dobrea, who have no previous convictions, were given 22 months, while Bud-Popa and Petcu both received 30 months in connection with their convictions for conspiracy to defraud.

They also received concurrent 9 months sentences where relevant for other charges, including the possession and transfer of criminal property.

As he handed down the sentences, the judge ordered that they should all be deported after serving their time and that the four months they have spent in custody since they were arrested would be taken into account. The judge also ordered that the cash seized from the gang on arrest, which amounted to CI$13,524, should be returned to Cayman National and Butterfield, the two banks that became the victims of the scammers.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (10)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I have had 3 credit cards cloned in Florida in 2 months for around $7000 in losses. I know many others with the same issues, and that’s just people from Cayman. Someone has to pay these losses and ultimately it is us through fees and interest rates and I don’t see that 2 years is any kind of deterrent as a sentence.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Entering the Cayman Islands with the intention of committing crime should be a separate offense with a mandatory sentence of at least 2 years – in addition to any other penalties. We need to protect our borders better.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Crickets on this one, hmmmm I wonder why?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, not long enough. These people entered the Cayman Islands with the intention of conspiring to commit fraud and got little more than a slap on the wrist. Not the Judge’s fault because he was simply complying with the sentencing guidelines but in the USA they’d be facing 8-10 years. As for crediting them with the four months they spent on remand? Words fail me!

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