Realtor guilty of stealing over $51K

| 11/08/2017 | 46 Comments
Cayman News Service

Toni Paloni

(CNS): It took a jury of four women and three men less than an hour and a half Thursday to find Antonio (Toni) Paolini (77) guilty on one count of theft in relation to money he took from a client who wanted to purchase a piece of land but spent it on rent in an effort to keep his business afloat. Paolini claimed that he had used the $51,600, which was handed over to his real estate agency by Joana Triana, with the intention of paying it back but a much hoped for sale fell through. Paolini had admitted being stupid but denied being dishonest.

Paolini who was, until this guilty verdict, a man of good character who also has serious health problems, was bailed until sentencing at a later date after his defence attorney, Amelia Fosuhene, requested a social inquiry report. 

During the short trial this week before visiting judge, Justice Marva McDonald-Bishop, the court heard that Triana never received the land she believed was going to be hers within a matter of weeks of handing over the cash, and she has never been reimbursed.

As she presented the crown’s case to the jury, prosecutor Toyin Salako had said that Paolini had duped Triana out of her cash and had done so dishonestly, as he had tried to fob her off with claims that the land was complicated by a restriction, which was not true. She also said that opportunities to tell Triana he had spent the money were ignored.

It was not until she pressed the issue several months after handing over the money, when she realised the transfer had never happened, that Paolini admitted he had used her cash. He then converted the payment into a loan agreement, something she had reluctantly agreed to because of his promise to pay back the money. But he did not meet the terms of that agreement and the cash remains unpaid.

Paolini claimed that he had got himself into a financial mess through challenges in the real estate business and poor management. But because he was expecting a major sale to go through, which he believed would have sorted his money difficulties, he used Triana’s cash when his landlord threatened to change the locks on the business. Accepting that he was very stupid, he said he had been thinking about keeping the business going to save his employees when he used the money with the intention of paying it back as soon as possible. 

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (46)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    “Paolini had admitted being stupid but denied being dishonest.”
    It saddens me that this man at such an advanced age could behave in such a way.
    It would be better for him to have plead guilty and taken responsibility for his actions.




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  2. Lincon says:

    I Bought my land from a local private land owner which im thankful for because honest hard working people just want whats fairly due to them ( most people) , I almost bought from a real estate company, met up with a female realtor, from the get go I dodnt like her personality I then followed my gut instinct that something wasn’t right.

    I later found out that the piece of land I was interested in purchasing had been sub divided but I wasn’t aware, she made me believe that for the $80k was buying the whole land, thank goodness I have friends that work at the Land and Survey dept.

    I later questioned her about the subdivision and she said she didn’t know it had been subdivided and that If the deal had gone through I would have got a discount.

    buuuuuullllsh******t!!!




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  3. Slim L Fund says:

    Wotch u talking bout willis 1250pm too many of these parasites have come here and made it off the backs of these fools selling their land for nothing so they can run around here wid things they cannot maintain or afford to have it time we started restricting who sells property on these islands and started recalling some of these realestate licenses! We may just stop this plague that is upon us all




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  4. None says:

    I have been stolen a large amount of money from a caymanian with her husband from the usa still at large .This people have done the same with several people in cayman. The financial crime unit and cayman courts are useless. They are just to busy going after small crimes when the once that are really big get away. So not only expatriates are guilty but our own cayman people!! Think about it!!




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  5. Anonymous says:

    These people come to the Cayman Islands and expect to get rich overnight. Giving the Cayman Islands a bad name, when it comes to buying real estate here.

    I wonder how many people he had working in his office? Him, himself and I? Since he said he was trying to keep his employees employed.




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  6. Anonymous says:

    We can afford to get rid of these bottom feeders when they break the law. I hope DEPORTATION is a part of his sentence. We’ve got 1100 in the queue looking to live here permanently, this dude is easily replaced.




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    • Anonymous says:

      I believe he has Caymanian status! I dealt with him briefly and felt a bit uneasy with him so I didn’t sign his contract. That is another thing that should change – once you sign their contract you can’t even change your mind, they lock you in for months. Cartel if you ask me.




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  7. Knot S Smart says:

    Lock Him Up Without further a-do …




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  8. Henry says:

    Who are the owners of CIREBA? They get a share of all the commissions. Where does that money go?




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    • Anonymous says:

      Another organization that do not embrace Caymanians. I know a well educated, honest, hardworking gentleman who was trying to get in the real estate business, according to CIREBA he missed the grade by two points, so they could not license him. Off course the graders were all agents who he would be competing with. ONLY IN CAYMAN!! I weep when I reflect on all the crap that is allowed to happen here.




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    • Anonymous says:

      talkin up the market, inflated asking prices, no regulation a cartel…..




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  9. Kathy Ebanks says:

    If cireba had any morals that would reimburse the purchaser and deal with their own member to recover the funds.




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    • Anonymous says:

      That was funny. You should do stand up. Cireba is a cartel to mulch as much cash out of a distorted market into the pockets of the realtors.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Realtors who admit to making 1 Million+/- a year wanting to pocket as much as they can to retire early in the States, etc.




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  10. The Cold Hard Truth says:

    How is this different from the Travel Agent who used her client’s credit card to fund her business? She was found not guilty.

    I am not suggesting this guy should be found not guilty, I am merely pointing out the inconsistencies of trial by jury. Makes criminal justice look like a lottery.




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  11. Carl says:

    Many of our Realtors are Greedy ambulance chasers that treat their bankers, attorneys and valuers like a rag on a mop stick. Most times they harass, lie and manipulate closings so they can get their commissions. There really should be some professional standards amongst this fraternity and dicplinary actions taken when they continue to behave in this manner. Remember these realtors should be ambassadors for the Cayman Islands.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Whacky private sector strikes again.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Perfect comment, thank you! I’ve been a salesman for 20 years, not in real estate though. People always talk about car salesman has having poor integrity and a cheesy approach. Not at all. It’s my opinion that realtors are over commissioned paper pushes who bully their way through the close.
      This man had better do time for the crime. His actions cannot go without stern penalty




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  12. Anonymous says:

    no consumer protection in cayman? realtors and banks taking advantage of the lack of law and order…sad




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  13. Anonymous says:

    (In light of trending posts and remarks elsewhere in this forum…);

    Liars, thieves, and criminals come in all shapes, sizes, colours, and backgrounds.

    He is just as despicable as the TFYS robber.

    – Who




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    • Anonymous says:

      Yes Who, he is white. Perhaps you are obsessed with that aspect.

      Others on this board are more focused on equality of Justice. There was a recent case involving a local Travel Agent who used other clients money to keep her business afloat.

      They bought tickets, gave her the money and ended up with nothing,

      The judge directed:

      “At the time of making the deception dishonestly, was it the intention of Theresa Eleanor Chin to permanently deprive the customers of their property? If the answer was no, the verdict was not guilty. If the answer was yes, the verdict was guilty.”

      I suggest to you that Mr Paolini was less of a thief than this woman who got off without conviction, having defrauded numerous clients who remain without compensation.

      Comments?

      Fairplay




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  14. Anonymous says:

    A buyer should never give funds to a real estate agent, ever. Put it in escrow with your lawyer or the vendor’s lawyer. There is absolutely no reason the realturd should get it.




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    • Anon says:

      Yes that’s a good idea let’s face it ..there are no dodgy attorneys or accountants in cayman ..




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    • Anonymous says:

      what happened to those other cireba brokers – Remax when they were sued for not giving deposit’s back after a failed development in Northside – that went all quiet!




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  15. Anonymous says:

    All these real estate companies and developers are in it for one reason – greed and a fast buck. But as long as the right hands get greased there is no problem at all, business as usual! To think this person believes he should still be allowed to conduct business. Problem is he probably will with the right “partner”.




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    • Anonymous says:

      This is free enterprise and as business operators we have to do what we can to survive but by no means do we need more regulations. This lady was getting her loan payments so what’s the big issue? Come on now get with modern times.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Please be a troll. Please.
        PS> She wasn’t getting her ‘loan’ payments (as per the article).




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  16. Anonymous says:

    Whimpy would, “gladly pay you Tuesday for a Hamburger today”!




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  17. Anonymous says:

    Nobody is really regulating these realtors. This is exactly why self governance of private sectors is a complete failure- I guarantee there are many many realtors who do not seriously understand the importance of trust/escrow accounts and who commingle funds. Realtors should not be allowed to hold funds in trust- ever!




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    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed. In Canada (and probably elsewhere), these funds go into a third party trust account maintained by a law firm.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Just getting a small home approved loan cost me $650 for 3 minutes at the law firm, so NO!! However, regulating CIREBA is a very good idea. Escrow is the rule and works just fine. Real Estate is big business here and the players must be ethical – sad to hear this news- assume company is now banned from CIREBA immediately under their bylaws.




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  18. Anonymous says:

    He is just one of the dozens of expat crooks operating in our real estate market, LOCK THEM UP THEN DEPORTATION.




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  19. Anonymous says:

    In my humble opinion CIREBA agents are “stealing” with every deal they participate in. The percentage fees they charge in no way reflect the work they put in. But it turns smooth talking tourism sector workers into rich folks and drives up the costs of purchasing any property.
    There should be zero work permits for this sector of our economy.




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  20. Anonymous says:

    If you keep money that belongs to someone else, which you had promised to use to do something with, and end up using that money for your own needs, you are dishonest and a thief. How he could even think he was not dishonest is beyond me and demonstrates the lack of accountability prevalent here…its never anyone’s fault. My a$$.




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    • Hosass Inhellnow! says:

      He has become so used to stealing something every opportunity he got, for years, that now he thinks keeping that lady’s money for his own use is not wrong! He has always been a common thief. Remember when he first drifted in on these shores he was going to build a big development of apartments and warehouses! Sadly he is one of these Caymanian Status holders that can not loose his status despite his despicable lying and stealing habits.




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  21. Anonymous says:

    Getting into a financial jam doesn’t mean you can take someone else’s money to pay your own expenses. An honest man would asked the landlord for more time and then tried to get this persons sale done to make the rent money, or given up the office and worked from home. If it doesn’t work out you go out of business, but you still give the client money back because if you’re honest you still have it. This happens all the time in Cayman. Reminds me of the travel agent lady who got off because she acted so pitiful and helpless in court. This guy couldn’t pull it off. “I only meant to steal it for a little while” is not a defense.




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  22. Anonymous says:

    It’s also very stupid to go into a fast food establishment with machete in hand and demand money. Different ends of the spectrum, but both should be banished from our society.




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