Ex-tennis pro admits stealing over $280k from club

| 11/04/2019 | 53 Comments
Cayman News Service

Rob Seward (Photo courtesy Cayman 27)

(CNS): Robert Todd Seward (47) pleaded guilty on Thursday to ten counts of theft and forgery and related offences in connection to cash he stole while managing the Cayman Islands Tennis Club over a three-year period. Seward is said to have stolen more than CI$280,000 in cash and forged cheques between June 2015 and January 2018. The South Sound club’s ex-general manager and head pro-trainer already agreed to admit his crimes last week and had given up his bail and volunteered to go to jail.

When Seward appeared in court Thursday, he entered his formal pleas in an arraignment, where he also denied another eight counts of theft and forgery, which the crown has now agreed not to press at a trial.

Seward, who is originally from the United States and first came to the club in 2004, was charged in May last year. He initially denied all the allegations, but ahead of the scheduled trial he revealed his intention to confess and as a result opted to go directly to jail.

The case has now been adjourned for sentencing on 24 April.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (53)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    the whole lot of you are to be blamed for allowing the accounting to go unchecked, plain and simple.

  2. Anonymous says:

    as many chartered accountants as there are in these islands and especially in all the many social clubs which abound, the organizations/ clubs and charities should have their own checks and balances in place. Wasn’t there an understanding that each club/charity etc. must file a copy of their accounts with the Government annually? Please check on this.

    • Chris Johnson says:

      I do believe they need file annually just like CIFA did not! Like many divisions in government they do not enforce. In any event if the filed accounts are wrong how the heck would government know? I see that CIMA is now revoking hedge fund licences because they failed to file accounts in 2013. What progress! Red flags abound. Will anything change?

  3. Anonymous says:

    No they arrive on the rock with the intention. This is the easiest place to come and get rich quickly. Organizations turn over their businessss to them without a glance back. Must be the “farin accent”

  4. Game Up says:

    This man was set in his ways, now is clearly the time for him to take an injury(self inflicted) time out and serve his sentence, and I hope the umpire gives him plenty of penalty points.

  5. Anonymous says:

    What is it in the Cayman islands so conducive to moral wrongs of many kinds? Do the Dump’ gasses cloud people’s judgement? Is it dissolved plastic and chemicals in the water? The Land of corruption and theft, bigotry and xenophobia. Dream in Cayman?

    • Anonymous says:

      It’s our close proximity to Trumpland and the desire of the sunshine-seeking dimwits from the UK. Makes us very attractive to the dregs who can’t make it back home to come here and mix with the homegrown dimwits who think these people are “world-class” on the basis that their from somewhere else.

      Bright and decent people don’t succeed in Cayman. Whether you’re Caymanian or on work permit, the more full of sh!t you are, the higher you climb – or the quicker the snobby Richie Riches accept you. Talk sh!t and look slick. That’s all that matters here.

      Smart Caymanians are held down, decent work permit holders get ground up in mince.

      I love stories like this cause I enjoy reading the comments defending this “great guy”. Stark contrast to the comments on any story of lost local kids who are victims of poverty and no equal opportunity in education or family life.

      Eff Robert and eff all you idiots defending him. Proliferation of bullsh!t from snobs.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Good on Rob for admitting his mistakes. May he come back greater than before!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Is Seward one of those immigrants from sh!thole countries ruining host nations like Trump constantly rants about?

    Cayman appears to have more than our fair share.

    I suggest a US-style ban on these people!

    Oh, wait…never mind.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Deportation Order?

  9. Anonymous says:

    280k, was that gross…or NET?!?!

  10. Abraham says:

    Most frauds happen in charitable and not-for-profit organizations. If there is no proper book-keeping, there is theft!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Each year a person is elected to manage the financial assets and liabilities of the Club.

      • Anonymous says:

        I think most clubs do that but obviously CIFA although an association did not. Charities and small busuinesses are always vulnerable because you can never eliminate theft. Restaurants are great examples. Perhaps thte Chamber could have a few sessions to assist on the subject. Plenty accounants can assist. We have about 1300 of them!

        • Anonymous says:

          There are / were internal controls in place. To your point, the Club has had theft / fraud before, but spotted quickly. With minor damage the matter can be dealt with swiftly and appropriately. However, the current matter was over years and financials were signed off at annual Board Meetings based on Treasurer Reports. It’s really quite helpful when the Accountant / Treasurer do their job.

    • Anonymous says:

      And who was responsible for the bookkeeping?

  11. Anonymous says:

    280K/$40= 7000. That’s a lot of Jack Daniels.

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s a hell of a price for a Jack Daniels!

    • Jack Daniels King says:

      Hey @8:44 you’re right!! Maybe we should grab a drink sometime to discuss how we can get 280K or more without following in this guy’s foot steps, what do ya say?? LOL

  12. Anonymous says:

    How are these people allowed to steal so much, no oversight. This is really mind boggling.

  13. Anonymous says:

    I hope he is made to refund the money. He couldn’t have spent it, probably sent back to his country.

  14. Anonymous says:

    With over $280000 in my pocket I would also be happy to relax in northward hotel for a few years on the goverment expense.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Cheers 🍻

  16. Say it like it is says:

    To steal this sum from the tennis club is mind boggling, his greed knows no bounds. Now he is snivelling in self pity and admitting guilt only to receive his one third discount on his sentence. I sincerely hope he gets 15 years at least, so he will have to serve 10.

    • Chris Johnson says:

      I find this very sad as I knew Rob and he was a highly respected coach. The kids loved him. Somewhere down the road his lost it. My concern is that frequently churches, charitable and sporting organizations are ripped off. This of course includes the local football association. Many innocent people sit on the boards of these organizations and must be concerned. In future others will be reluctant to offer their services. I do not know the answer.

      Having duel signatures on all cheques is a help but not the complete answer. The big accounting firms should form a joint committee to develope simple internal controls for these organizations. It will also be boilerplate depending upon the size of the organization. It will help them to demonstrate to the authorities governing charities that they are on the ball.

      Just a suggestion.

      • Anonymous says:

        The Board meets monthly. The Treasurer is supposed to reconcile bank statements, read out balances and report on the Club’s financial condition. In January 2018 the Treasurer reported to the Board that he’d check the general ledger up to and including December 2017. This date was subsequently changed to read September, yet the theft occurred much earlier. What’s the point of having internal controls if those responsible do not implement them? And what’s the harm in volunteering if there is no accountability?

        • Anonymous says:

          And the blame game begins! Best of three sets

          • Anonymous says:

            Don’t you think it odd that a tennis pro can amass $280k between 2015 and 2018 while reporting monthly to a board filled with accountants? This is not to diminish what was done, but surely there are lessons to be learned. Then again, this isn’t an isolated news story. So perhaps we are beyond learning.

        • Chris Johnson says:

          All I can say that having been President of the club four times and sitting on the board for over 12 years I stll cannot figure it out. Did anyone think of doing comparatives with previous periods. Maybe the answer is compulsory D&O insurance for all sports clubs and charities. Rest assured it will happen again, question is when.

          Anyone know how CIFA is coming along.

          • Anonymous says:

            I’m sure as President, you made sure the Treasurer did his job. Nor would you leave signed blank checks. It is really that simple. This addresses the lack of administering the internal controls long put in place by the Club. The door was opened, but it does not excuse the serious wrongs committed by RS. You would also understand liability, but the Members were told the directors are not liable.

      • Fiona Foster says:

        As you all know, Rob was an extremely difficult and highly unpleasant man for much of the time. Telling the club and their board made no difference at all. They got what they deserve in the end by not listening to (some, especially female), members.

        • Anonymous says:

          Which Rob are you talking about? The Rob I know was under alot of pressure and actually is a decent human being.

        • Anonymous says:

          I’m not sure the Board, or at least some of it’s members, have gotten what they deserve. It will be interesting when fees are raised and Club Members have to dig deeper into their pockets.

        • Anonymous says:

          Lets not make this some sort sexist issue or a time for grievance by females of the club. Many members representing men and women brought issues about the manager to club executive. In many cases the Executives on the club Board would brush them off as anecdotal.

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