Woman’s appeal fails in $2M theft case

| 09/04/2019 | 28 Comments
Cayman News Service

Michelle Bouchard during her trial

(CNS): Michelle Bouchard, who was convicted in April 2016 of more than two dozen counts of theft and other offences related to the theft of over $2 million from her elderly companion, James Handford, failed to have her appeal heard at the first hurdle on Tuesday. The Cayman Islands Court of Appeal denied her application, largely because it was made almost two years out of time. It was also rejected by the three appeal judges because the arguments put forward were unconvincing. In November 2016 Bouchard (58) succeeded in having her original twelve-year term reduced to ten by the appeal court.

Following today’s decision she will continue to serve that ten-year sentence, and her first opportunity for parole will be in 2022.Bouchard stole the money by manipulating Handford, a lonely and vulnerable man in his 80’s.

She claimed that he had given her the money but this was contradicted by statements Handford gave to the police as well as entries in Bouchard’s own diary. At her sentencing hearing the judge described the offence “as an eye-watering theft”.

Since her conviction the crown succeeded in securing an order to make Bouchard pay back the stolen money, much of which she transferred out of the jurisdiction before her arrest.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (28)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Not a terribly moral woman but she shouldn’t go to jail just because some old Aussie fellow got buyers remorse.

    • No state citizen says:

      This was more than just buyer’s remorse. It was gain of property by deception.
      People argued that she was on bank account which meant that the funds were hers as well but that is not the case. She knew she was stealing those funds without his consent.

      If my parents put me on their account to assist them with paying his bills, if I transferred thousands of dollars to my personal account outside the country without their knowledge or consent, that is theft.

      • Anonymous says:

        Legally it is not theft

      • Anonymous says:

        or was it wittingly the amount of money he was willing to pay in the deluded pursuit of something more than friendship with this immoral and opportunistic woman?

  2. Anonymous says:

    The Cayman Islands enacted the Dormant Accounts Law, 2010 in July 2010, requiring banks operating in the Cayman Islands to transfer dormant accounts to the Cayman Islands government AFTER ONLY SEVEN YEARS of account inactivity.

    Meantime every U.S. state, District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Quebec, British Columbia and Alberta in Canada etc. have unclaimed property programs that actively and continuously (!!!!!) find owners of lost and forgotten assets. The purpose of unclaimed property laws is to protect consumers by ensuring money owed to them is returned to them.

    What does it have to do with Michelle Bouchard case?
    She LEGALLY took money from a joint account, no dual signatures were required. Yet, she was convicted of stealing (from technically her own account) and got a whooping 10 years!!
    Yet, the CIG created a law to legally take people’s money (unclaimed funds), instead of, as it is in other countries, make a diligent effort to find owners of the assets. Most USA states hold lost funds until owners are found, returning them at no cost.

    P.S I am following “Madison woman faces gun possession trial in Cayman Islands” case. Meantime,
    * the jury of five women and two men returned an unanimous not guilty verdict after Mark Melado Llewellyn, who was accused of possessing an illegal handgun found under a stove at his North Side apartment, was managed to raise enough doubt that the .38 caliber semi-automatic handgun recovered by the police was not his. Somebody pass this to the Madison woman.
    *It took a jury around half an hour to find Claude Terry (36) not guilty of having an illegal gun, Friday, following a week-long trial. A customs officer based on Cayman Brac, Terry was charged with possession of an unlicensed firearm after a Smith & Wesson revolver and bullets were found in August 2016 in a box inside a water tank at the apartment complex where he lived.
    *Two men [Keith Montaque and Walter McLaughlin] walked free from court Monday after an acting judge of the Grand Court threw out the case against them for possession of two illegal firearms and ammunition.

  3. Caymanian hockey puck says:

    Another one from the great white north that has come here to make us civilized but all the meanwhile they continue to fleece and undermine Cayman. With their passive aggressive agenda EH!!! What a mess this little crown colony is in???

    • Anonymous says:

      5:20 – such a stupid comment
      And Cayman is already undermined thanks to your OWN people. However, if you sleep better pointing fingers then be just like them.

  4. Anonymous says:


  5. Anonymous says:

    I still can’t believe this woman was sentenced to prison for being a boops. She was legally on his account, no dual signatures were required. Yes she took his money but she did so legally. Let’s not pretend like the old man was just looking for a friend to hold hands and cuddle. She may have been wrong morally and a downright gold digger who didn’t intend to let him in the cookie jar but that’s his own stupidity as well. These old men need to be accountable for thinking with the head below the waist, as these younger women don’t want you for your wrinkles guys.

    • Anonymous says:

      Anonymous says: 09/04/2019 at 4:23 pm
      No matter what, THIS is the best explanation and the one I came to say.
      I thought the same thing from when she first went to court.

      If you know her, please tell her that others feel the same.
      Anyone who doesn’t is just jealous that they can’t find their own sugar daddy if that’s what they’re looking for.

  6. Anonymous says:

    i rather starve than steal…if you cant do the time….dont do the crime! full stop😷

  7. Anonymous says:


  8. Astria, the goddess of justice says:

    They singled her out. She wouldn’t have been convicted in the US.

    Meantime some get away with crime without even a slap on the hand:

    Auditor General Report ‘Political direction’ used in land purchases. House Speaker [Juliana O’Connor-Connolly] in ‘possible breach of trust’.

    “Former Cayman Islands Minister of District Administration, Works, Lands and Agriculture Juliana O’Connor-Connolly “directed” in 2012 that government funds should be used to buy a $125,000 property on Cayman Brac, the auditor general’s office reported Thursday.
    The purchase was made with “unspent funds” at the end of the government’s budget year. https://caymannewsservice.com/2015/07/speaker-may-face-acc-probe/

    “The auditor general revealed in his report that Ms. O’Connor-Connolly somehow managed to spend $34,000 in hotel charges on Cayman Brac, where she lives and has a home. He also raised questions (and eyebrows) when he referred to Ms. O’Connor-Connolly’s now infamous trip to Qatar, entourage in tow, to attend a postal conference where Cayman received a bronze award for the excellence of its postal service.

    And yet, to date [2015], neither Ms. O’Connor-Connolly nor her chief officer Kearney Gomez has been called before Mr. McTaggart’s committee to explain these expenditures.

    Why not?
    ……question of our own — not to Ms. O’Connor-Connolly but to Mr. McTaggart: Why are you not inviting Ms. O’Connor-Connolly to come before your committee so a thorough — and public — inquiry into these outstanding issues can take place? ”

  9. Anonymous says:

    This poor woman. What a travesty of justice.

    • D Check says:

      Poor woman my@$$! Everyone of unnah need to be in jail. You all are the bane of the Cayman Islands!

      • Anonymous says:

        No. People like you who cast judgment without actual real knowledge of the full situation or circumstances need locking up and keys thrown away. You are the rot and wrong of our society.

      • Anonymous says:

        The bane of the Cayman Islands are unwed Mother’s and Fathers who don’t pay child support.

      • Anonymous says:

        It appears you’re guilty of handing out your money to some woman or man who were only using you for financial aid. I hope you at the very least got some even once *wink*. #staysalty

      • Anonymous says:

        D Check yo self before yo wreck yo self – unnah babe

  10. Anonymous says:

    She may have been a gold digger but didn’t deserve to go to jail.

  11. Anonymous says:

    What was she appealing lol. You’re a criminal mam.

    • Anonymous says:

      When was it a crime to be a gold digger????? Being a gold digger does not make you a criminal.

      • Anonymous says:

        @8:35am There is a difference between a gold digger and a gold thief! Do you really think he gave her or she had a right to help herself to $2 million? What’s wrong with you?

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