Jury finds Bouchard guilty on 25 charges

| 21/04/2016 | 86 Comments
Cayman News Service

Cayman courts, Grand Cayman

(CNS): Michelle Bouchard (55) was convicted on Thursday of 25 of the 26 counts against her in relation to the theft of more than $2 million from her elderly boyfriend, James Hanford, a Cayman property owner from Australia. During the second day of deliberations, the jury of four men and three women returned their verdict at around noon and acquitted her of just one charge of theft relating to a credit card payment. Bouchard, a Canadian national, remained impassive as the verdict was delivered. She is expected to be sentenced at 2pm today.

Check back to CNS for more details later.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (86)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    @2:39 I am sure you have a few skeletons in your closet, they just haven’t fallen out yet! I wonder who’s more harmful a crack head or a thief?

  2. Anonymous says:

    A ridiculous sentence especially since there seems to have been no evidence of it having any impact on the victim.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Most women would do the same in the same situation, because in most cases even if being caught it is usually only a “slap on the risk” to pay the fine and display the same predatory behavior for their next victim

    Hell, when you think of it, women are too sexy to fail. Cant wait for hillary to become president,

  4. Anonymous says:

    That is one gold digger out of a 100 on the islands that are caught. The odds are still in womens favor.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Like a number of other posters here I am astonished at the sentence. Let’s do a brief recap…. We have a armed robber who actually committed attempted murder who got 6 years and is now roaming Cayman with a gun. A kidnapper who got 10 years reduced to 8. And CW who got 7.

    So what’s the message here? Violent crime is less serious? Good luck with that as a deterrent strategy. She would have been better off if she had actually robbed him with a weapon. Even CW was involved in a somewhat elaborate conspiracy, this was simple opportunism.

    Guilty yes, merits a serious sentence but this is absurd.

  6. Anonymous says:

    So that Conover guy only got five years for stealing from the government but this WHITE WOMAN FOREIGNER get 12 years.
    How is that fair?

    • Anonymous says:


      Canover: Guilty on 5-of-6 fraud-related charges. Custodial Sentence, 7 Years.
      Bouchard: Guilty on 25-of-26 fraud-related charges. Custodial Sentence, 12 Years. In fact, she should have gotten more time.

      So, what’s your gripe?

  7. Sharkey says:

    I happy to see that the Judge and Jury and Prosecution all agreed that GOLD DIGGERS are not allowed in the Cayman Islands .

  8. Anonymous says:

    Well she was concerned about her well being. Food and shelter for the next what… 3-5 years? Just enough time to write the “tell all” and sell the movie rights. This yarn has it all, sex, money, greed, tropical island….

    For casting… Maybe Canadians Pamela Anderson or Kim Cattrall for her part, Pam will be well into her 50’s by production time. And Kirk Douglas will be about 105 in the role of Jim.

    Go to the station, New Gravy Train coming through.

    • Marathon says:

      It aint that much of a story TBH. Middle-aged chancer pretends to have relationship with rich old man who’s starting to lose his memory and then soaks him for as much as she dare. But I suppose the police turning up just as she was packed up and ready to go is a dramatic twist.

    • Anonymous says:

      I can see it on lifetime, she’s call it “The gravy train that stopped”

  9. Balanced justice says:

    Hopefully this will serve as baseline for Jeffrey Webb…

  10. Anonymous says:

    I feel she has been stitched up. Being in a relationship with an older man that is generous with money is not a crime.

  11. AGS says:

    “Dear God, please con this man out of his money.”

    Dear journal sex is a big step unless I am sexually attracted to the person and he reminds me of my ex, and I dont have to know him”

    Dear journal he promised me financial security but I will just help him with that and transfer the money to my personal bank account in small increments.

    Dear journal I am in trouble, Jim has made a complaint to the police. I had hoped he was going to be senile before he could do that. My gravy train has left the station.

    Dear Journal: I am upset because I am no longer a millionaire, these lawyers are eating away my nest egg but it will be worth it in the end.

    Dear Journal: My goose appears to be cooked. I couldnt seem to convince the jury that Jim loved me that much that he gave me that money

    Big up the prosecutor for exposing her, the jury for seeing through her lies, the judge for not giving her a pat on the wrist BUT it isnt over yet.
    Her lawyers will of course appeal, she may get a shorter sentence or even serve no jail time here and just get deported.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Many solid relationships are not based on having sex. Why so much emphasis on sex here? Besides isn’t it a sin to have sex not being married?

    • Anonymous says:

      No its not a sin to have sex outside of marriage because if that were the case then the collective caribbean nations are dammed.

    • Anonymous says:

      So. Is it a sin for a married person to refuse sex?

  13. Anonymous says:

    She did what she did because she was given an opportunity. Not exactly a crime. The conviction was solely based on her diary. Was it legal? I remember Mechele Linehan case where she was given a life sentence solely on the inadmissible evidence which was overturned later on.

  14. Anonymous says:

    12 years. BOOM!!!! I mean crikey! Gold Diggaz watch out lol

  15. Anonymous says:

    Meantime child molesters get 6months.

  16. Anonymous says:

    A more fitting end would have been if she had married him, he became addicted to Viagra and lived to 108…

  17. Anonymous says:

    Ok, so this woman was a boops but her sentence is a little harsh in comparison to say, Canover Watson. The system is so strange to me. IMO, what she did was more morally wrong than it was illegal.

    • Anonymous says:

      I don’t under the system here. When she was with him he was very generous to her…there was some form of relationship. But 12 years???? A father can rape his daughter and get maybe 1 one year? Canover did a good job in stealing and he got 5 years. Drunk Driving that ended up in an innocent person getting killed 2 years or less? Are we missing something here?

  18. Concerned Citizen says:

    Great job to the prosecution team, bank employees, and sensible jurors who saw what this woman was all about – GREED.

  19. anonymous says:

    12 years???? What???? How can you compare crime against property vs. humans? Rapists,child molesters and murderors get months to few years.

  20. Anonymous says:

    What’s most crazy about this case is her need to pray to God for all these material things. Meanwhile she was having plastic surgery, screwing a stranger on a cruise, buying a $200k ring to supposedly be engaged to a guy she refused to let touch the kitty, hanging out at law school … and so much more!

    This is one for the record books! I’m glad that she will spend some serious time in Fairbanks. They should also confiscate any assets she has remaining.

    Now a silly question but will this case have any bearing on the importing GFs/wives Cayman men keep bringing in who do the same to them? Take houses etc. or is this only good for the super rich?

  21. Anonymous says:

    By the way, that’s FurrinerKind or CanadianKind and not CaymanKind !!

  22. anonymous says:

    should have just married him. Sleep wtih him once, and she would have been entitled to half his fortune. Wait a few years, and would have been enttled to all his fortune when he died.

    Guess she wasnt’ that smart.

  23. Anonymous says:

    She will be held at Fairbanks and like the other thief (Patricia Ebanks) that is there will be allowed out on weekends to get her hair and nails done at my beauty salon. And don’t question me I’ve seen here there now three times and SHE IS STILL IN PRISON SERVING HER TIME!!

  24. Patricia Bryan says:

    2 million and she still wasn’t satisfied! She was so smart she outsmarted herself. She won’t get most of that money because I am sure the courts will confiscate whatever is attached to her name here in the Cayman Islands bilateral agreements with Canada and possibly confiscate and I said she may have there also. What a greedy woman. Just couldn’t settle for what he may have possibly given her voluntarily and then have that turning over Andover for her and Investments. What food has she thought that man didn’t have anyone in his family who cared enough to be concerned for him period and likely as many expats do I am afraid to say think that our country and our development is so backward or so my newt that anything can go on with in the Cayman Islands and be gotten away with. Sorry for her. Thank you jewelry for finding her guilty on all of those charges that is a president an example for anyone else who thinks they can do the same within our territory. While it was not one of our own who did this and even being afraid to do business trip certain companies as this woman represented a very reputable interior designing company on the island only to go on and present herself in such a Negative manner. Yes investors would certainly be looking at these examples and wondering greedy thing. Serves her right

    • B.M. says:

      Canada has no such agreements or treaties with Cayman. Therefore anything she managed to send off island for a relative to withdraw and move cannot be recovered. This is part of the money laundering aspect of her crimes. When she gets out she will be deported to Canada where she will have access to the just under $1 million dollars she sent off island that her father withdrew within days of her being arrested. She got 12 years but made sure she would be paid for even being around the old man.

      This is why everyone needs to be careful about the little sweet things washing up on these shores acting like you are the best thing since sliced bread because these ladies and gentlemen are playing you like a fiddle. Unfortunately, a lot of people willfully place themselves in these situations, the rich divorceé looking for male companionship and openly offering her chosen one(s) a better lifestyle. Some of them are like the old style child molesters approaching you like they know exactly what kind of candy will get you into their cars.

      I understand everyone has needs but do not put yourself in a less than ideal arrangement whether you are getting what you want or not. This man could have “gotten” some younger, hotter, better young women than this one on a regular basis for the price of hair & nails, some relatively inexpensive bawbles, rent or phone top ups. I have seen this swindler up close and she’s a last call and I drank them all selection. If you want Canadian, you can do a whole lot better than her but then again maybe he wanted someone he hoped would not be in a position to leave him…sad but this was a straight up con job from day one.

  25. Anonymous says:

    I hope they make her pay back what she stole. That doesn’t seem to happen here much. Take away their assets, sell their house, car whatever to recoup some of the losses. Get that ring back for starters and any property she bought with the proceeds too – that should be compulsory in cases like these.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s because the prosecution doesn’t see that as something they should assist with. They take the view that’s your job to get your assets back. There is yet another high profile fraud/theft case on its way to the courts. Too bad they don’t assist by ensuring that the victims have the necessary judicial order to be fully compensated.

  26. Golddiggaindamakin' says:

    Lavish, Lifestyle behind the gated Community of Fairbanks….hehe…cheese sandwich served!

  27. Anonymous says:

    She will be held at Fairbanks. There are about 15 other prisoners there? It will feel like a slap on the wrist even though she wont be “free” and in the outside world. And then she will be sent back to Canada and be able to enjoy whatever she bought with that money.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually, conditions at Fairbanks are dire. The prisoners are kept inside almost 24 hours a day. The interior area is dark and oppressive, with metal caging everywhere. Cells are primarily dorm room with upto 6 inmates in each.

      Generally, Fairbanks staff stay well away from the inmate area, hiding in the air conditioned office and observing on CCTV.

      Day to day conditions are far better at Northward were inmates are allowed off the cell block (even of just into the grassed areas within the cell block fences) for most of the day.

      Having been inside both facilities, I know of which I speak.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, some of them mental patients. It’s a small building. And couldn’t be more different to the lifestyle this woman wanted. Plenty of punishment.

    • Anonymous says:

      Hopefully the crown will apply to confiscate her assets.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Must suck to be kicked off the Gravy Train lol

  29. Anonymous says:

    As I followed this case in the media, all I could think about was to how unconscionable and conniving this woman was, to “take care” of an elderly man so that she could “take care” of his money, to her benefit.

    I trust Mr. Handford’s family is satisfied with the court’s ruling and subsequent sentencing- with a deportation order in place post time served.

    She is a emboldened thief who kept a journal of her misdeeds, of greed and conspiracy to manipulate an elderly man to obtain his (Cayman Islands) wealth.

    THEFT BY DECEPTION is a growing problem in the Cayman Islands. Many such cases are not fairly prosecuted in the court of law. – which regularly make financial provisions [to the felon] via an unjustified ruling; manipulating the court administrative/(due) process in favor of the felon, to avoid public embarrassment, reputational damage, significant financial loss/restitution payments or custodial sentencing.

    I am pleased, thus far, with the outcome of this case (i.e. Guilty on 25 or 26 counts!)

    • Anonymous says:

      The English guy who got caught trying to steal about the same from his seven mile beach developer clients got off without a jail term as his friendly judge found him guilty of deception, not theft…he is now living a good life in Cayman.
      Perhaps Ms. Bouchard will have similar good fortune.

      • Anonymous says:


      • Anonymous says:

        I hope not. I understand that Cayman has a criminal friendly system, so there is know telling how a judge may rule. Well, let’s see. I can only be hope that he will do just thing and throw the book at her.

      • Anonymous says:

        Obtaining by deception and theft carry the same maximum penalty so I am not sure what your point is.

      • Anonymous says:

        Don’t remember that one. Can you provide a link old chap.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, but was there a policy to say that he couldn’t do it? Until then his hands are clean, etc.

  30. Anonymous says:

    Damn! $2 million and not even a quickie. That sucks.

  31. Anonymous says:

    I dunno about this verdict. I think what she did was wrong from a moral standpoint but if you actually add someone as an additional signatory on your account and it’s and/or – if they take all your money it is wrong yes, but was it illegal? No.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s right, it is not illegal to use a govt. credit card to gamble in casinos.

    • Anonymous says:

      It was wrong on all levels: Morally and Legally.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is about what you have authority to do. For example, you might be a signatory on an account for your employer but that doesn’t mean it’s legal for you to clean out the account. The same situation can arise even in personal relationships.

      • Anonymous says:

        True, but where is the evidence that restricts her use of the ‘joint’ funds? Can that be implied from their relationship, or does it have to be in some form of contract, written or otherwise? So if that understanding is she can spend as much as she wants on whatever she wants, but later that understanding is changed (in his head?) to only cover admin costs, and even then where is the proof? Most business accounts are joint signatories, or limited to what a single signature can do.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yep my thoughts exactly, if you have a joint account to cover expenses you can’t complain if the money’s spent by either party, exactly the same as having a joint account with your wife, you can’t accuse her of theft if she spends it all, you can try but it will get you a few nights on the sofa. The problem here is the ‘expense’ account had a couple of million in it! I would say the defense missed a trick in not arguing the legality and instead tried to justify it. It was indefensible.

    • anon says:

      He had early stages of dementia, so it probably didn’t take much convincing.

  32. Anonymous says:

    All the sentences here in relation to theft are a joke. I believe it is capped at 10 years. Do the math and work out how many years most ppl would have to work to earn even a fraction of what she took.

    • Anonymous says:

      Whilst the maximum for each individual charge of theft is capped, judges can still impose consecutive sentences so that for multiple instances of theft you can receive a sentence greater than 10 years.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Very sad story unfortunately too many of these woman roam the streets of this little island looking for their next sugar daddy!

  34. Goose and Gander says:

    She would have gotten away with it if she was Caymanian

  35. A Nony Mouse says:

    I think the diary entries she foolishly kept may have easily sealed her fate! If you’re going to con someone, DON’T keep a running written tally of your efforts!

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly, God knows your thoughts before you do so why did she keep asking God to make Jimmy hand over the dough?

  36. Anonymous says:

    I ain’t sayin’ she’s a Gold Digger…….

  37. Anonymous says:

    No other conclusion they could have come to. Let’s see how much time you get for stealing $2M. I bet that law degree will now come in handy in prison.

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