(CNS): A former offshore accountant accused of stealing over $500,000 from a client’s fund surrendered to custody Friday, volunteering to begin serving time even before he has been formally convicted or sentenced. Robert Neil Aspinall (38), who is accused of stealing from the fund he was liquidating while working for Deloitte, faces fourteen charges, including theft, fraud, forgery and money laundering. Although he has admitted taking the cash, he has not yet entered formal pleas.
When he appeared for the first time in the Grand Court today, his defense attorney, James Austin-Smith, explained that his client would be pleading guilty once a signed indictment has been received. Given the inevitable custodial sentence his client is facing, he said Aspinall was giving up his bail and was prepared to go to HMP Northward immediately.
Justice Charles Quin said that although it was an “unusual” situation, it was a very sensible decision. An arraignment and sentencing hearing was set for 28 July after Austin-Smith said that there was no need for his client to have a social enquiry report, as he was keen to minimise public expense on the case.
The details of Aspinall’s offending will be aired during the sentencing hearing later this month, but it is understood that he transferred cash to his own BVI company while acting as the liquidator on the wound-up fund, from which he took more than half a million dollars.
Formerly employed by Deloitte and latterly Intertrust, Aspinall, who has lived in Cayman since 2003, is a British national who was a resident of George Town.
The police investigation into Aspinall’s crimes started in April. If the sentence is delivered before the end of this month, as is anticipated, this case could be a local record for swift justice.