Fraud suspect volunteers to go to jail

| 22/07/2016 | 74 Comments
Cayman News Service

Rob Aspinall

(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.

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Comments (74)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I can just see it now.
    Courtney’s missus brings the dog for visitation and Aspinall is there.
    Dog: Hello Simon.
    Simon: Hello Dog.
    Dog: Who’s this?
    Simon: This is Aspinall.
    Dog: Really? The Aspinall I read about on CNS?
    Simon: Yep, that one.
    Dog: Hi Aspinall. What brings you here?
    Aspinall: I got caught.
    Dog: Sucks, eh?
    Aspinall: Yep, sure does.
    Dog: I am currently engaged with my boys to get Simon’s sentence reduced.
    Aspinall: Really?
    Dog: Yes. We’ve got this revolutionary new defence going on.
    Aspinall: Wow. How does it work?
    Dog: It is quite simple really. It involves telling the truth.
    Aspinall: All of it?
    Dog: Yes.
    Aspinall: I need a lawyer.

  2. Robert says:

    If one was to nick half a million from Donald Trump , should they go to jail ? Billionaires steal their money , its done every day , Huge companies steal money every day , They call it a free market , sorry but its All fixed , We the sheep , just roll along with our little lives as we get raped of our hard earned finances , Not by this guy , but all multi billion dollar companies , Take Trump university for instance , they stole from the poor with false promises , Yet will he get charged and go to jail , Hell no .

    • Yes Suh! says:

      Doesn’t mean that we should allow the likes of Aspinall to do the same. When you say Trump, you really mean Hillary, the one who uses charities to enrich herself and her husband, the one who sells political favours, etc…

  3. anon says:

    I’m not buying it, I’m afraid, Mr Aspinall. You left Deloitte and joined Intertrust thinking you’d committed the perfect, untraceable crime. If it wasn’t for a simple twist of fate, you’d still be in your multi million dollar house and fancy car. And you were caught, you didn’t hand yourself in. The sheer audacity of this crime, and the fact that you publicly advertised your services as a “fraud expert” is an embarrassment to the whole of the Cayman financial services industry. 10 years minimum. Btw Courtney is an equally spineless scumbag but their crimes and their sentences can’t really be compared

  4. Diogenes says:

    He says he will plead guilty and hands himself in to start serving his sentence before he is even convicted. Someone else pleads guilty to killing innocents – one proven to be drunk, one evaded police for 2 days by which point it was too late to test them – and they get to stay out for months pending sentencing. One of them even gets to travel – sure he is turning up for the incarceration.

  5. A. Wiseman says:

    Confiscate the funds and assets purchased with his ill gotten gains immediately. After he serves his jail term a minimum of 8 years. Deport him and his family back to their country of origin. Make an example of him

  6. Anonymous says:

    so if it was that easy to fabricate an investor on the Level Global funds how do we know that Mr Aspinall didn’t place other fictitious investors on the record for other entities being liquidated by Deloitte (including BCCI). I think a full independent investigation of all Deloitte’s cases are needed. I don’t think Mr Aspinall is stupid, but to risk it all, which he has done, for $445k is a pretty dumb move. Perhaps the hands up – don’t shoot approach is to deflect from other sham entities that are currently also receiving dividend distributions from Deloitte?

    • Anonymous says:

      Rob was a liquidator on only a few funds (and had just recently started taking appointments, and wasnt involved with BCCI). I have heard that 100% of transactions that Rob was involved with have now been reviewed (at Im sure great cost to Deloitte). Im imagine that Intertrust had to go through the same process.

      Hard to understand why Rob would do all of this for $445K, when he was probably making $200K plus at Intertrust. He is repaying the $445k, plus interest, plus various parties legal costs. He will likely lose his accounting designation, spend several years in prison (away from his two young kids), and become unemployable in the future.

      His maximum upside was 445K, and his downside was professional and personal destruction. How he didnt make this mental calculation boggles me. And he concocted this over several months so he had ample opportunity to stop his actions.

      • Anonymous says:

        how difficult would it to go into the shared drive, open up a file that he isn’t liquidator of, and add an extra creditor line to a spreadsheet to participate in future dividends. I’ll give you the answer. Not very difficult at all.

      • Anonymous says:

        I thought XXXXXXX were the liquidators of these funds and Mr Aspinall was a senior manager on the case – that’s according to the statutory notice of liquidation in The Gazette. Therefore he could, conceivably done this on every case he touched…

  7. Harauguer says:

    Crime pays! I’ll do a couple years in HMR (Her Majesty’s Resort) for half a mill.

    • Anonymous says:

      You must not have your entire life working career ahead of you to consider losing, along with your family & investments. Good luck with your plan.

  8. Yes Suh says:

    So 22/07/2016 @7:30 congratulates Rob for….WHAT?? I don’t know. Was it for finally fessing up – bit too late I’d argue. Congratulate Rob if he had fessed up before getting caught, not after the fact… Anyway.

    He/she then follows up the “Way to go, Rob” with “I know you messed up. We have all messed up”, blah blah blah Ummmmmmhhh, yeah, messing up is one thing, stealing half a million is an entirely different matter. Just sayin’

    • Anonymous says:

      He didnt “fess up”. His fraud was discovered by Deloitte a couple months ago. And the only reason it was discovered was by chance. A previously wound down fund had some additional cash come in (an SEC penalty that was reversed), and Deloitte had to reopen the fund to pay the additional cash to former investors. And that’s when they discovered some fabricated investors.

      • Yes Suh! says:

        That was my point entirely. He did not “fess up” initially… He only “fessed up/admitted guilt” after the fact, once he got caught by pleading guilty… Thanks for the details on how he was caught.

      • Yes Suh! says:

        Btw. I knew him to talk to. Decent enough on the surface, but a lot caught up on himself. No matter how decent or not he may have come across, people should have no patience for thieves who put their interests ahead of others, at the expense of everyone else.

        • Anonymous says:

          He’s a tosser and a modern day pirate he should rot in jail and is proof do not trust everybody in a white collar job

  9. Anonymous says:

    It’s the British thing to do

    • Anonymous says:

      To steal?
      To get Caught?
      To Plead Guilty?
      Or just be a complete idiot?!!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, when Caymanians steal from financial institutions the vast majority seem to plead not guilty, hope the crazy local juries acquit them and then have a second go on appeal to avoid responsibility for their crimes

  10. Anonymous says:

    Is he doing this to protect other people that may have been involved??? His charges could be the tip of the ice burg.

  11. Anonymous says:

    So after he has served his sentence can he be returned to his homeland? PR/status revoked if required. Hope the judge orders that he repays the funds.

    • Yes Suh! says:

      Nope, he stole half a million, the lowest allowable limit that you can steal which guarantees you to stay. This makes him part of the fraternity. Had he stolen anything less, he would have been pooched. I wouldn’t be surprised if this qualifies him immediately for status. Plus, you have to consider that he stole the money for a BMW, a noble thing among the white collar industry. Had he stolen it to feed his family that would have got him a one-way ticket off island.

  12. Sharkey says:

    My God , this white collar criminal must be one of the best God has ever created.
    To do a crime and want to go to prison and serve his time . I don’t know too many men like him .

  13. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know Rob, but I am almost certain that he already earned a high salary as a professional accountant. With his income from Deloitte he could have wisely invested some of that money in real estate, mutual funds, etc and still be able to live above standard. With this approach, he may have likely been able to retire (early) as an accomplished millionaire. Instead, he saw an opportunity to steal (during the course of his employment) because of GREED.

    The simple thought of him waiting a few extra years to become wealthy, and live the high-life he dreamed of, was unlikely to happen in the foreseeable or near future, if calculations were to be solely based on his normal wages.

    I hope he has enough time in jail to think about his behavior, leading up to his sentencing, and the impact it will have on his future.

    Every time a person or company steals from another, there are victims on the other end enduring some sort of suffering or deprivation.

    • Anonymous says:

      So right 10:23.

      He probably would have invested some so when he gets out of prison, he will be able to live a comfy life.

      But we have all heard of karma, and know it is around the corner waiting….. often times it can take years. But it will come, and it will bite him when he least expects it.

      Crime and greed never pays in the end, for those who get away right here on island and for those who skip the island and never go to court.

      Eventually it all catches up with them somehow…

  14. Sharkey says:

    He knows that if he do it this way that he might not get any time in prison, and more time to spend that 500,000 dollars.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I know Mr Aspinall to say hello to. I feel really sorry for him and his lovely young family. He did wrong, he must be punished, yes. But he is only human and cannot undo his mistake. I hope he and other prisoners in Northward are all given love and forgiveness once they have served their sentences. Bless them all.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Hand up! I did it. – Good for him. Better than the constant cry of “wasnme” (despite the CCTV, DNA, fingerprints and eye witnesses).

  17. Donkey caymanian says:

    Now this is a person to whom I would give a 2nd chance, admitting you have done wrong taking the consequences. Some of our caymanian business people the same!!

    We done to you Sir!

    • Monkey expat says:

      With a second chance we could really rack up this cash.

    • Anonymous says:

      You do realize that the only reason he confessed was because he was caught, right? There is nothing admirable about such an admission once an individual has been caught. His confession is designed to begin the argument for the lightest possible sentence like less than a year if he has traveled in the same social circles as the justice.

      Of course, there is no telling how much more he may have stolen since this sounds like very much of an accidental discovery. He did not come clean of his own volition, he came clean because he wanted to limit his prison time as much as he could. This is such a joke!

  18. Anonymous says:

    He did the right thing. For that I can understand if he gets 1/3 knocked off his sentence. He saved the public purse in that regard. Even though we may be now be paying $69k a year for him. Wish he would do the right thing and just pay that himself as part of his compensation.

  19. Anonymous says:

    While applauding his avoiding unnecessary trial expense any discount to his sentence needs to be measured by his guilty plea alone. The point remains he stole vast amounts of cash and may in other circumstances have got away with it. If he gets a short sentence then it sends a message that the rewards of such a crime are worth the risk (and consequences) of getting caught.

    • Warwick says:

      Absolutely agree.Stop saying “he’s a gentleman” people. “Made a mistake”??? What kind of “mistake” is stealing a huge sum of money with cool calculated planning, which involved forgery, fraud and money laundering? I’d call it a whole series of flipping humungous mistakes otherwise known as acting as a criminal.

      White collar criminals are in a position of trust and generally receive higher sentences than thieves who never held such a position, and quite right too. His position is indefensible, so he’s taking a sensible, calculated approach to his guilty plea. Nothing much to applaud really, he’s doing his best to mitigate what’s coming.

  20. Anonymous says:

    A criminal and a gentleman. He should never have done it but least he is dealing with it admirably.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Finally an honest criminal has ben arrested

  22. Anonymous says:

    “Keen to minimize public expense on the case” AKA “My ass got busted so I am being as nice as humanly possible to try and get a reduces sentence”

  23. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Aspinall I am not acquainted with you but you did the correct thing. If you know you did wrong you should repent and ask Gld and the Court to forgive you. May I also remind you that you should repay the funds you took to the rightful owner. Even though you must go to prison if you do the above then you will be in right standing. That is what real forgiveness means. May the God of all peace, hope and mercy send angels to protect you while you are serving your time and I pray that this ordeal will teach you to be honest going forward.

    • JTB says:

      He is repaying the money

    • Anonymous says:

      plus 20% interest

      • Anonymous says:

        So as long as you repay what you got caught for plus 20% everything is OK? This man is a criminal who was caught. I wonder as many others have questioned what is missing here, how much more did he steal but is being swept under the carpet for the greater good.

  24. Anonymous says:

    fair play to him….pity mr courtney did not take the same approach…..

  25. Anonymous says:

    Hey Courtney. I here you are looking for a cell mate!

  26. whatever says:

    Still thinking that he’s smarter than the common folk… Step 1: Own up to it Step 2: Fake some remorse – replay the time that you got caught (in your mind) and hopefully some tears will gush Step 3: Tell the judge that you’re a much better person than the other POS (piece of sh_t, for those who don’t know) who ran over the couple with his Mustang Step 4: Cross your fingers and hope that the judge shows some leniency. Step 5: Find Jesus in Jail (that’s not where Jesus is, nonetheless, pretend that you found him) Step 6: Find some locals and convince them that you found Jesus Step 7: Apply for residency/status

    • Anonymous says:

      @whatever – what exactly do you mean by “still thinking that he is smarter than the common folk.”

      When you refer to “common folk” exactly which sector of the population are you referring to?

      As far as I am aware Mr. Adinall is not Royalty. Therefore he too is ‘common folk’.

      Just curious.

      • whatever says:

        When I said “common folk” I meant it somewhat tongue-in-cheek… The reason that I referred to him as such is because many criminals feel that they’re somewhat smarter than the average person, hence the reason for their crime (the fact that they think that they can get away with it). This is just another example of him trying to manipulate things, not an attempt to do the right thing, but rather to mitigate matters in the hope that he receives a much more lenient sentence. In other words, self-serving… It’s one thing to fess up before being caught, it’s another to do it after.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Well he’s a sensible man! Perhaps he can speak to Canover and get some sense into his head so he can stop wasting public funds and court time as well.

  28. Anonymous says:

    If you can’t do the time-dont do the crime. So sad to loose time for money. Time is precious and priceless. I would rather starve than go to jail! So sad…..

  29. Anonymous says:

    Way to go, Rob.
    I know you messed up. We have all messed up.
    May God give you the grace to get through this.
    I know there are victims. Just do your best.
    A friend.

    • Anonymous says:

      Rob has or is about to restore all missing funds plus interest to the two affected fund groups. So at least all investors get their money back.

      The remaining victims are his two very young children and his wife. That damage will be harder to repair.

    • Get_some_perspective says:

      Messing up is one thing, wilfully committing a crime, stealing funds, and then only pleading guilty once caught is another.

      And I don’t think the imaginary man in the sky is going to be any help.

  30. Diogenes says:

    Its sad to see a man give in to greed and throw away a promising career, but you have to respect him admitting it, avoiding the costs of a trial or even social enquiry report and handing himself in for custody – the contrast between that and the Courtney case are remarkable. I don’t condone what he did, but I admire the way he elected to own up and take his punishment.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you’re forgetting there is a BIG difference between this case and the Courtney case; Courtney didn’t set out that day with intent to run anyone over. This gentleman DID set out to commit a crime and must have given it considerable thought and planning. The fact that he has “owned up” is meaningless; there’s too much evidence to even think of denying it.

      • Anonymous says:

        Because you’ve seen all the evidence including from the defence (that hasn’t been released yet)?

      • Anonymous says:

        Not quite such a BIG difference. Once Courtney ran over his victims, he deliberately left the scene of the accident without regard for the victims to avoid further charges which thankfully, he didn’t escape . Courtney had the requisite intent to inflict harm and that was evident in his conviction and sentencing.

  31. Anonymous says:

    And so, another one of our “white collar importees” are in trouble again. This one even wants to serve his jail time quicker than the courts can dish it out to him.

    Aaaahhhhh, the chefs at H.M.P Northward………must have had their culinary training at the best five star hotels in Europe. ?
    Mr Aspinall will be an excellent cell mate to the commercial lawyer from Seven Mile Beach road accident.

    I hear the imported tea from the UK is exceptionally tasty during the afternoon sunsets, from the lush and green surroundings of Northward.?
    What would be perfect, if we could get Jeff Webb back here, so Canover won’t have to eat all of them tasty ‘Nam Duck’ mangoes by himself.??

    • Anonymous says:

      Don’t forget the Caymanians serving time in the Uk, Trinidad and Puerto Rico for the importation of drugs, they could all do with your invitation too!

  32. Anonymous says:

    While it is good he is showing some degree of remorse, a better additional gesture is agreeing to pay for his prison costs during his (likely) multi-year sentence.

  33. Anonymous says:

    Very smart of him to admit his wrong doing now I hope you enjoy your stay at her majestys northward prison with the other criminals!

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