Local woman admits stealing CI$420k

| 21/11/2016 | 68 Comments

(CNS): A local woman who worked as a financial controller at The Security Centre has admitted stealing more than half a million US dollars from the firm over a three-year period. Following talks between her defence attorney and public prosecutors, Patti Jane Ebanks pleaded guilty Monday when she appeared in Grand Court for what would have been a trial for almost two dozen charges of theft, money laundering,  forgery and fraud relating to almost $1 million.

But talks between the lawyers led to a revised charge, which consolidated the multiple counts into one count of theft of just over CI$420,000. Ebanks, who has surrendered her passport, was readmitted to bail despite her admission and is expected to be sentenced in February next year after a social inquiry and psychiatric reports have been completed.

Talks between the defence and crown took place last week following a case management conference presided over by visiting judge, Justice Dame Linda Dobbs, who was due to hear the case. She had stated that if a plea agreement could be reached, she would ensure that Ebanks still received a “significant discount” on any prison term imposed.

Most defendants who opt to plead guilty and cooperate with the authorities can expect to receive some discount on a final sentence, with those pleading at the earliest opportunity usually given a one-third reduction. The goal is to encourage those who are guilty to admit their crimes and avoid costly trials.

Ebanks was charged with the theft in 2014 but has persistently disputed the amounts. The altered indictment reducing the amount of the theft from over $900,000 to $420,000 led to the admission and the avoidance of the jury trial scheduled to last four weeks.

The full details of the charge and the crown’s case is expected to be outlined when she is sentenced in February. But Ebanks, who managed all of the bookkeeping at the security firm, is accused of systematically stealing the cash over a three-year period using false cheques, on which she forged the signatures of other managers.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    She is from a $$$ background family, there was no need for her to steal!! Bracka

  2. Annie says:

    I worked with PJ in the 90’s, she always wanted to be ‘important’. I am sorry that she felt the need to resort to theft to achieve that goal. She belittled many honest, hard working people (yes me, for one), so I do not cry for her.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It was ultimately the other employees who suffered from her taking this money, when it came to bonuses and salary increases they were told there was none by management, not to mention the scrutiny their timesheets, use of work vans and afew other things were put under, even nowadays the salary increases are cents not dollars if your lucky enough to get one….

    • Anon says:

      Exactly! But why was this not noticed for years by senior management and shareholders! Where were the checks and balances from them! And they cannot blame accounting staff as they were frequently told ‘ none of your business and above tour remit’

  4. Anonymous says:

    I am pretty sure we are almost to the top of the crime rate list. I remember when going to sea for so many years and bragging to people in all the many countries that I visited, telling about Cayman and how peaceful and loving that the local people were and those people loving to hear all the good news. Today when I travel I try to hide the fact of where I am from as I am ashamed of what this little peaceful and loving Island has become.

    Not only is the crime rate among the poor people,it is all over the place from top to bottom and nobody seems to be ashamed of it. I am much afraid that pretty soon all of us who think anything of ourselves will be looking for a safer place to live in.

    The MLA’s are no better, they should be trying to set an example for us, but it seems as if some of them are only looking out for themselves instead of trying to set an example for us.May God have mercy on all of us who try to live a good and decent life!!!!

    • Connie says:

      Hi Anonymous things has certainly changed in Cayman.. but It is still one of the best place to live .. do not forget the good things, lets work together to see how we can stop things from getting worse.. God Bless you.

  5. Anonymous says:

    All I hear is expats are worse..caymanians are worse….blah blah blah.. Lets face it , greed knows no color or geographical birthplace. This island now seems to be rotten from the top down . From politicians preaching about how god fearing they are while living it up in Vegas on the govt credit card ( but I was paying it back honest ) to trips to the UK for large partys of MLA and assistants ( but we handed out beer ….now they will respect us ! ) an epidemic of child abuse while we have huge anti gay rally’s masquerading as family values conferences . Expats stealing from caymanians , caymanians stealing from expats, slave labour …. Sorry ‘ helpers’ raising the children , west bay ‘ gangs ‘ killing each other …not for control of a drug trade like in other places ( that appears to be under control of the rather more elite ) but just for kicks and to impress the little girls .one guy buying up the island and making himself the only game in town while dictating to the so say government on what he wants …but as they say , you can’t buy what’s not for sale. Now I know this will promote shouts of ‘ if you don’t like it , go back to your own country ‘ ..well , that is exactly what we are going to do . My rollover is up soon and for all the reasons above and too many numerous others to list ( monopoly of energy company’s , flights, etc… Ridiculous mark up prices in stores that claim to be all about the community while charging you 7 dollars for milk….spring to mind ) I did not even consider putting in for PR . No doubt some will cry ‘ good riddance ‘ . But its not . Me and my family are law abiding , we pay permit fees , health care and rent into the local economy . We shop local and contribute time and money to good local causes. And we are being driven away with the crys of ‘ driftwood ‘ ringing in our ears .
    So long paradise ( lost ) .

    • Anonymous says:

      and where you are going exactly? that it is better than here? I may follow.

      • Anonymous says:

        It’s not where I’m going that’s ‘ better ‘ than here …no doubt wherever we end up will be equally as screwed up as here…but I can guarantee wherever it is we will be able to buy bread and milk , shoes for the kids or have the odd night out without having to take out a bank loan . And I’m one of the lucky ones that earns a very good wage . I genuinely don’t understand how 80 percent of the population here can survive while the other 20 percent seem to be in a competition over who can have the biggest SUV or the best house on south sound or Chrystal harbour. I’m not ‘ bashing ‘ cayman for the sake of it believe me …in 9 years I have seen so much change here …little for the better . I can only imagine what people who have been here 20 , 30 years or more , or who have lived here all their lives think.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m with you, and by that I mean we are leaving rather than apply for PR. Our reasons are many but island fatigue is a big one.
      Not really even sure why I’m posting this but there you go.

      • Anonymous says:

        I know of many decent people who are doing the same , people who contributed to the economy for years this place really could have been a slice of paradise. Unfortunately greed , jealousy and bitterness seems to have become the norm .

      • Anon says:

        We left a few months ago. I had been almost 10 years in Cayman. Cayman is not the place it once was. We decided we were not going to throw away huge savings on a house and PR when it could just be taken away at the whim of government and the anti expat sentiments were getting oppressive. So happy we made the call and left. Feel more welcome in our new home.

        • Anonymous says:

          My sentiments in a nutshell.

        • Anonymous says:

          Yet you can’t let go it seems.

          • Anonymous says:

            It’s difficult to do that, when Cayman has all the ingredients to be perfect for everyone yet hate is stirred by those less able politicians as their only weapon to retain power instead of having the wide seeing ability to work out what really needs to be done. I am left gobsmacked by the whole thing and only hope sense prevails next elections to steady the ship for all. That sentiment is for Caymanians and expats alike. Not original poster.

        • Anonymous says:

          I had lived in Cayman for 16 yrs, have Caymanian children, have PR both my husband and I. We left 8 months ago. Now milk costs $2 a gallon, gasoline costs $1.84 a gallon, internet is $35 for 70mbps, my kids are doing AMAZING in school where middle school is separated from high schook and the older boys cant prey on the younger girls, organized sports are practically free and run year round, soccer football, basketball, baseball etc, where an AMAZING amount of parents come out to the public school events, sporting events, charity events. I miss Cayman, absolutely! Our friends and family (90% Caymanian …) and beaches and sunshine. Not the prices, the gang crap, no activities or places to go for preteens or teens. My kids? They havent asked me even one time if we are moving back. Cayman is a paradise lost …. it saddens me greatly!

          • Anonymous says:

            Please let me know where you relocated so I can move there too. Thx much!

          • Anonymous says:

            Where is this? And do you have space for a Caymanian who feels the same way about having a better place to call home for his family?

    • Grammer Master says:

      Your poor formatting took away from whatever potency your message had. Please use sentences and paragraphs. Transitioning from point to point should not be conveyed with this …. .

    • Anonymous says:

      If you and your family are law abiding citizens, why are you paying work permit fees, shouldn’t your employer/s be doing that, or are you one of those that has someone take out the permit and “I will pay the fee” person/s?

      • Anonymous says:

        Let me rephrase that then if you insist on being so pedantic. My employment here has meant my employer paying 8 years work permit fees on my behalf . The point being that alone has contributed over 100,000 dollars to the economy . Add to that 8 years rent to my caymanian landlord a further 200,000 then I you want to add everything we have bought locally, services used , monies paid to hospitals ( two children born here etc… ) then you would be looking at well over half a million dollars we have put into the economy in our time here. But I’m sure you sound like one of the people who say ” what have the expats ever done for Cayman ” .

  6. Anonymous says:

    I guess crime does pay, either she stole 1/2 million or she stole 1 million, which is it? Can’t see this as justice if she gets to keep half of the money stolen??

  7. Anonymous says:

    Caymankind

  8. Anonymous says:

    Deportation order??

  9. anonymous says:

    They certainly cant tag this one Jamaican though.

    • Anonymous says:

      No, they do other crimes.

      • Anonymous says:

        And you think Caymanians only steal? lmfao They are guilty of every kind of crime. Some is known and some swept under the rug. You ppl amaze me with your mentality of being saints while every other country’s citizens come here and corrupt your poor, innocent, weak minded Caymanians.

    • Anonymous says:

      No that’s way too petty for a jacan.

  10. Anonymous says:

    I hope this comment is not another mysogynistic targeting of the local population. When I read reports of court cases, some of the most egregious cases involve expatriate workers.

    • Anonymous says:

      misogynistic… you can’t be serious??? Oh how people are quick to forget about the past. We’ve had numerous woman (Caymanian and expat alike) steal funds from businesses and people with little to no recourse. So kindly get off your soap box with this nonsense

      • Anonymous says:

        4:09 pm, I think the poster may have meant “bigoted”, rather than “misognistic”. The poster to whom you are reacting was actually making the same point you made — that the offence of stealing is not confined to any race of people. Dishonesty is a character flaw — not in our DNA.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Can’t imagine how often this actually happen here but doesn’t get reported cuz perp is cozy with a west bay mla or expat management doesn’t want repercussions. A lot I’ll bet. A lot.

    • annonymous says:

      This woman have the name Ebanks but is not a Bayer as far as I know her ex husband was from the Brac, she hails from a prominent caymanian family in GT.

    • Anonymous says:

      4.04am I guess you are right.It has been said that often in situations like this, expat management will release an expat worker rather than press charges .As result the worker has no charges recorded here and is able to return on another work permit.

    • Annie says:

      Huh? PJ is from GT. There is no West Bay anything in this narrative,

  12. Anonymous says:

    I guess she just helped herself to some of that squandered government money that seems to flow firmly in that direction.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t she the sister of one of the owners?

  14. Anon says:

    Probably just get a slap on wrist and tag on ankle ( which ironically will be provided by the security centre).

  15. junior says:

    yeahhhhhh lets employ thief’s and not so called friends of directors lol

    couldn’t make this up.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Wow – from $900,000 to $420,000 is a big difference of $480,000 !!!!!

    For a security company, they are really slack and shabby with their accounting balances.

    I just hope the Cayman Islands tax payers were not overcharged in the many contracts that were given to them.

  17. Veritas says:

    It seems that after losing almost $1 million dollars over a 3 year period before noticing something was wrong, that the Security Cetre needs to improve it’s own security. It also shows how profitable this business is and is an indication of the vast amount Government spends on these services.

    • anonymous says:

      strange how two government departments can lose 1.5 billion over three years ago and nobody says a thing.

  18. Anonymous says:

    not a good reflection on the caymanian workforce…..but one that is all too common…..just ask any major employer…..

    • Uncle John says:

      Did it reflected good when all of them expatriates steal from the cayman government and other businesses and what never leave the country the court slapped them on their hands and say don’t come back again, Did that look good????

    • Anonymous says:

      By the looks everyone does it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Ummmm – what about all of the expat thieves that have been caught? And those that haven’t yet…. Hello – Rob Aspinall comes to mind? Plus several others. Stop bashing Caymanians.

      • Anonymous says:

        In denial as usual-thieving starts at the top here, yet you prefer to ignore that and blame all others. If you got your own house in order the finger you pointed at expats might carry more weight.

      • Anonymous says:

        There is a big difference between spending and shooting.

    • Anonymous says:

      People are the same wherever you go. Plenty of expats AND Caymanians who have stolen from their employers. Sentencing needs to get tougher to dissuade this common occurrence.

      • annonymous says:

        Amen 7:27am. Thief’s come in all shape and forms no matter the ethnicity. Locals and expats.

        • Anonymous says:

          yawn…what politically correct drivel…..you might as well have said that ‘there is good and bad in all commuities’….

          • Anonymous says:

            Scrooge, good to see ya! A bit early for Christmas aren’t you?! It may be drivel but its true and correct…

      • Anonymous says:

        Many of these locals were raised with the mentality that if they don’t get caught its ok Look at the credit card use by the MLA’s It wasn’t illegal so it must be ok

    • Anonymous says:

      Please don’t paint all Caymanians with the same brush. The same goes for expats. It is simply a bad reflection on her only. The same goes for all the other thieves, regardless of nationality. Simply just a bad reflection on those individuals; not an entire nation.

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