Security firm thief to serve over 4 years in jail

| 08/07/2017 | 33 Comments

(CNS): Patti Jane Ebanks (51), the former financial controller at The Security Centre Ltd, was given a six-year sentence for stealing more than CI$420,000 from her employers over a three and half year period, but her sentence was reduced by 30% for her eventual admission, giving her a term of four years and two months behind bars. At the sentence hearing on Friday, Justice Charles Quin pointed to a long list of aggravating factors but also acknowledged Ebanks’ mental health and alcohol addiction.

He said that such reasons are usually put forward in cases of theft where offenders steal large amounts of money, and pointed to a similar case where a pension fund manager stole from the Chamber of Commerce to feed a cocaine habit. But in the end, he said, “the common thread is often greed”.

Ebanks was accused of stealing the cash from her bosses using the petty cash system, starting in 2010. The judge said she had breached her position of trust with her sustained dishonesty, enlisted others who knew nothing of her crime to help, duped people into signing cheques, forged signatures and concealed the losses to the firm in her reports to the board.

The court heard during the sentencing process that she began stealing when her long-time alcohol addiction reemerged, along with her mental health challenges. She also became addicted to online shopping, which spiralled out of control and led to her offending.

Ebanks eventually admitted her crimes on the morning of her trial. Originally she had been accused of stealing nearly US$1 million, but when the case was reviewed and the crown changed the charges to just the one count of theft, she pleaded guilty. As a result, the visiting judge who had been due to hear the case directed that the court would still consider a substantial credit on her sentence, despite the eleventh hour admissions.

Justice Quin said he was honouring his fellow judge’s commitment but it was not a precedent, as he reminded offenders that a guilty plea must come at the earliest genuine opportunity to ensure they received the maximum one-third credit.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (33)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    boy, security in cayman generate big business? ? i guess with the recent surge in crime…it will only continue to grow?

  2. Veritas says:

    Why is it the Cayman press rarely publish photos of these criminals?

    CNS: We publish photos when we have them or can get them.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The trash certainly is piling up on the island.

  4. Bob says:

    Don’t forget the English lady who allegedly stole from The Pines and got away with it.

  5. Anonymous says:

    It wasn’t me it was the alcohol. It wasn’t me it was mental health issues. It wasn’t me it was an addiction to online shopping. It wasn’t me it was…..fill in the blank. These people never accept responsibility for their actions. Why no photo ? I want to see what a crazy, alcoholic online shopper looks like.

    • Anonymous says:

      wow she look like some mothers child, someones sister, someones aunt, someones grandmother; that’s what she look like.

      Its me Jah Dread

  6. Anonymous says:

    Tap on the wrist. She can perfect her craft for the next time.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Theft sentences do not seem to be consistent….but thieves still get more jail time than drunk drivers who kill. I think we lack a decent set of laws and a worthwhile judicial system to be honest.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Michael Levitt stole over US$800k, pleaded guilty early and got 7.5yrs in 2015

    Michelle Bouchard stole ‘aboot’ 2mil, didnt plead guilty right away, got 12 yrs in 2016

    Canover Watson stole about CI$1.2mil, didnt plead guilty right away, got 7yrs in 2016

    Patti Jane Ebanks stole about CI$500K, didnt plead guilty right away, got 4.5yrs in 2017…

    Help us out here Judge.

    • Anonymous says:

      If she was an expat she’d be serving 10.

      • Anonymous says:

        No……. if she was an expat like Sue Nicholson, her family would have payed back the money and no charges would have been filed against her.

        Duuhh

    • JAH DREAD says:

      the number of initial charges in all cases either they all stuck or were significantly reduced, plus admission of guilt or not guilty and at what time in the process;. these are the factors that drive the final sentencing. READ I SAY READ.

    • Anonymous says:

      Colleen Holness stole $500K from Progressive Distributors, she got 2 years

      • Anonymous says:

        Didnt know about Coleen Holness until now. Looks like she got 4 years. Think we still need an explanation for the sentencing (or not in the case of Sue Nicholson) between Michelle Bouchard, Coleen Holness, Patti Jane Ebanks and Sue Nicholson.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Perfect credentials, she’ll most likely get a job at a bank when she gets out.

  10. Anonymous says:

    That’s it! That’s some bull crap! I heard of cases with longer sentences for less cash! By it good to be connected!

  11. Veritas says:

    Is the headline not misleading, the sentence is over 4 years but time servred is generally half the sentence.

    • Anonymous says:

      Are heads going to roll. Oh no this is the private sector.

      • Anonymous says:

        If by “heads roll” you mean be prosecuted, whose head should roll exactly? That of her victim, her employer?

        Don’t be silly.

      • Veritas says:

        6.01pm – If the public sector does manage to bring a prosecution for theft against one of it’s own the public record keeping is so sloppy they often get off for want of evidence.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Lesson of the Day !!

    Never put a family member into “an executive position” in your business, who has an addiction of any sort, past or present.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually it’s a good rule, if you can, never to employ any family members, or even friends, or do any business with them, including lending to them. So often It ends in bitterness and resentment. If you feel you won’t be able to sue someone if all goes wrong, don’t do it in the first place.

  13. Elfreda Ebanks says:

    No one cares but the business owner. NEXT.

  14. Anon says:

    She was stealing before her drinking became a problem. That excuse is BS! Plus management were warned by staff of issues regarding her having complete control and rest of staff bring hamstrung to check records. But management chose to ignore because she was shareholders sister. Hope she serves most of that sentence, she deserves it, and she should never be allowed to work in a position of trust ever again.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Hope there is also an order for repayment of stolen funds

  16. Veritas says:

    Well crime in Cayman certainly pays – 2 years in jail for stealing one million dollars and it seems none of this will be recovered.

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