Bouchard moved over $1M in month before arrest

| 19/04/2016 | 0 Comments
Cayman News Service

Michelle Bouchard

(CNS): As the prosecution wrapped up its cross-examination of the defendant, Michelle Bouchard, Monday, Simon Russell Flint QC quizzed her about why she had systematically moved almost $1 million from a joint account she shared with James Handford, the man she is accused of stealing from, in less than a month. Bouchard is accused of manipulating Handford to have him fund her lifestyle, but shortly before her arrest the crown alleges she transferred the money into accounts in Canada, adding to the $500,000 she already had, which Bouchard claims was a gift from her 87-year-old boyfriend but the crown says was meant to be a loan.

Russell Flint questioned Bouchard about why she transferred close to a million dollars in 29 days in various small amounts to four separate accounts she had in her native Canada, and why, if this was cash she was entitled to have, she had not made one large transfer. Bouchard claimed that was just how she had dealt with the money transfers and though it may be weird. it was not illegal. She told the court that she was given permission to do the transfers by Handford, who had promised to give her financial security.

But the prosecutor suggested Bouchard had transferred the cash in smaller amount so as not to alert the bank. He indicated to the jury that she had taken out almost $1.5 million just months before her arrest from accounts Handford had in both the United States and the Cayman Islands in addition to the half a million dollar loan-come-gift.

Bouchard told the court that Handford had paid her credit card bills for over four years, which came to hundreds of thousands of dollars. She said that she had charged payments for plastic surgery, super cruises, expensive jewellery, extended stays at hotels during her many trips around the world. All of this was paid for by Handford and came from the joint account that she said he had opened and added her as a signatory.

Asked if she had ever added even one dollar to that account, she replied, “No.”

As the prosecutor drew his questioning to a close, he asked Bouchard how she felt about becoming a millionaire by taking money from Handford’s joint account without doing anything for it.

She said, “Jim benefited a lot from my professional input into his investments and he had promised to give me that financial security.”

The case continues.

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Category: Courts, Crime

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