Crown argues against ‘time served’ for Syed

| 06/07/2017 | 24 Comments

(CNS): Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Patrick Moran urged the court not to order ‘time served’ for Hassan Syed (51), which could amount to more than two years credit against his sentence, because of his attempts to dodge justice and his manipulation of the system. The former UCCI president appeared in court for sentencing Thursday, following his conviction in March on twelve counts of theft, fraud and deception from the college between 2006 and 2008. 

Moran said that the court had the discretion not to credit the former head of the University College of the Cayman Islands for the time he spent in a Swiss jail after his arrest on an Interpol warrant in 2014. Nor, he said, should Syed get a partial credit for time on an electronic tag when he was bailed for medical reasons following his return to the Cayman Islands.

The crown attorney argued that Syed was remanded in Switzerland for more than 200 days because he was a fugitive from justice and because he had at first challenged his extradition. When he finally agreed to return, he was placed on a tag, Moran said, because he was a flight risk, and he remained on the electronic curfew for more than 1,150 days, as a result of his own actions.

While such time can equate to a half day of jail time, Moran said in this case Syed shouldn’t be credited because he caused numerous adjournments and delays in the case because of his false claims over evidence and attempted manipulation of the system to keep putting off the trial.

Moran argued that there was a long list of aggravating factors to consider. Syed was convicted of stealing more than CI$500,000 through the misuse of the college credit card as well as through false cheques, invoices and a salary advance. But the crown said he also dishonestly obtained more than $200,000 in salary because he lied about having a PhD to land the top job, which put him in the position to steal from the university. Moran claimed that Syed’s total ill-gotten gains amounted to more than CI$700,000.

He also argued that the offending lasted over a long period — some 18 months — and he stole from a publicly funded educational establishment, “not a faceless financial institution”. Moran said Syed’s crimes were sophisticated, that he had tried to cover his tracks and blame others, and that he had not only breached the trust of the college but caused numerous challenges for UCCI on top of the loss of money.

Moran set out a timetable to begin seeking compensation from Syed and also asked the court to recommend his eventual deportation.

Tom Price QC, who represented Syed, argued in mitigation that while he had deceived the college about the PhD to land the job, he had actually performed it well and had improved and expanded the college. He said that most of the crimes were related to one course of offending, which were all down to his “infatuation with a woman” and the “impulse purchases” he made on the college credit card.

He said his client had been of previous good character with many, many people speaking well of him and the contribution he had made to the college, especially after Hurricane Ivan. Since being remanded to HMP Northward after the trial, he had been demonstrating his real character as a helpful individual and had been working hard at the prison education department, teaching, and designing course and educational tools.

Price said he was also attending counselling and taking behaviour management courses. He said Syed was doing all of this despite the fact that he was still suffering serious health problems, which were being aggravated by his incarceration.

He argued that Syed should be given full credit for the more than 200 days he spent in jail in Switzerland because he hadn’t been contesting his extradition but had been seeking reassurances about his access to medical services before he agreed to return to stand trial.

He said the 1,15o days on the electronic tag and the nighttime curfew while on bail should afford him some credit because it was still a “substantial deprivation of liberty” and he had never breached the conditions. Price further claimed that the case delays were not all Syed’s fault.

Justice Philip St John-Stevens, who heard the arguments via video link, said he would need time to deliberate on the submissions before delivering his sentence ruling. The case was adjourned until 3 August.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (24)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I wonder how many more expats that are in the Cayman Islands with fake degrees and holding a big time job?

    Then those same people have the nerve to tell Caymanians they need to get more education.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Anyone who fakes their qualification should be punished. It doesn’t matter where they come from.

      As to what “those same people” “tell” Caymanians, you just made that up, didn’t you, you bigot?

  2. Anonymous says:

    Those who accepted his gifts and are yet to turn them in to the authorities should be serving time as well.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Him and every scum bag that is now in our prisons needs to pay and repay Cayman Islands for the embarrassment alone that they have brought to these Islands and they need to repay the $$ to the private individuals they so deceitfully conned. These people continue to take advantage of our trusting nature. They ALL NEED TO PAY FOR THEIR CRIMES BIG TIME – WE NEED TO STOP BEING KIND TO THESE SCUMS, and once charged they need to be sent to their country to serve out the time. Cayman prisons system is too lenient (good clean life in there), needs to be HARD.

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  4. Don says:

    If the average person on the street is fined in court they are told if you don’t pay the fine you will serve 1 day for every $10 of the fine not paid. So maybe Syed should serve 1 day forevery $10 stolen.

  5. Shae Mcfield says:

    He needs to repay every cent, and serve the time giving. No credit needs to be giving, Switzerland prison has nothing to do with here. Kmt!

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  6. V says:

    Deport him, He is just continuing to draw funds from Cayman.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Atleast he isnt caymanian or indigenous to the caribbean! Scumbagling!

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  8. Unison says:

    It is written

    “The Ill-gotten gains of the wicked profit nothing, but charity saves from death”

    ~ King Solomon
    (Proverbs 10:2)

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  9. Sharkey says:

    But the Prison don’t teach Syed kinds of behaviour problems . If so then the Prison is better than the College . But he should have to spend every day of his sentence, and pay money back and if he can’t pay then more time should be added to the crooked so call professor.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Once a con man, always a con man. What evidence is there that he was of previous good character? Is there any evidence at all from his prior life?

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  11. Anonymous says:

    I think he should be given credit for time served…as soon as he repays every cent plus interest

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    • Anonymous says:

      And Alden should be the one to ensure that every cent is paid back. After all, Syed is Alden’s “Golden Boy”.

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      • Anonymous says:

        And Michael Ryan owes us 6 Million Dollar and is McKeeva boy… where is that money? Have Gov received it yet?

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        • Anonymous says:

          You must be a PPM stooge. Listen here, whatever the situation is with the $6 Million that Ryan owes the Cayman Islands, doesn’t make Alden’s complete lack of judgement any better.

          That being said… Yes absolutely, Mac should be held responsible for ensuring we get our $6 Million dollars.

          In future, try not to be so ignorantly divisive. Mac’s wrongs do not make Alden’s wrongs, disappear. M’kay!? They have BOTH wronged us, the people of the Cayman Islands, who they work for!!!

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        • Anonymous says:

          At least with McKeeva and Ryan, we got a big ass hotel out of it that has to import products that they pay the Government duties on, work permit revenue, as well as employment for Caymanians. What did we get from Syed? Not a damn thing, except for him robbing us blind.

          This doesn’t mean that the $6 million shouldn’t be paid, but still… you are comparing apples to oranges.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    This chappie damaged the careers of many young Caymanians. He taught them shitty IT and then gave them fake certifications.
    I interviewed one of his “graduates” and the poor kid convinced that he was a certified engineer, hardly knew the difference between a mouse and a keyboard.
    I asked for the original certification papers and they never turned up.
    This whole thing is not just about infatuation and bad judgement. It is about total dishonesty and ruining people’s lives.
    Syed should come clean or just get locked up.
    The young Caymanians that were duped by this guy should sue.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    There is a senior female Caymanian civil servant who was entranced by this man and she has been lucky not to have been embarrassed by the whole scenario. It was the talking point of her department for all the time she was discussing things with him for hours behind closed doors.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Give him credit! For every day held, add 3 days to his sentence! ?

    He deserves no mercy!

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  15. Veritas says:

    By all means give him credit, but add the same amount of time to his sentence. As for being a “helpful individual”, he certainly was, helping himself to other people’s money for years.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    He lied about his education before becoming infatuated….I don’t consider that being of previous good character.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Do the crime do the time

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