Serial scammer faces 80 months in jail for latest con

| 28/02/2024 | 16 Comments
Cayman News Service
Judith Douglas

(CNS): Judith Douglas (58) has been jailed for six years and eight months for obtaining property by deception. Douglas sobbed quietly from the dock as Justice Cheryll Richards delivered her ruling on Wednesday in the George Town woman’s third scamming conviction. Since 2015, Douglas has conned over 40 people out of around $2 million in three separate cons for which she has been convicted. This time, however, Douglas avoided a trial by pleading guilty to 32 charges, admitting that her serial offending has been fueled by a “pernicious gambling addiction”.

In this latest scam, Douglas stole more than $52,000 from dozens of people between December 2022 and March 2023, taking between CI$800 and CI$3,200 from each of them as a rental deposit for a small unit in Diaz Lane in George Town that was not hers to rent out, nor was it even vacant.

She began scamming her victims less than six months after her conditional release from prison, where she was serving time for taking $1.85 million over several years from a single victim in what a judge described as an “eye-watering” theft. Douglas took the money from Nathan Robb, who believed she was helping him achieve permanent residency, status and a Caymanian passport through a backdoor process.

She committed that crime not long after she was released from jail for a previous status scam, which, although this involved far less cash, involved around two dozen victims. She was not the only person perpetuating that scam in which around $200,000 was stolen, with Douglas getting around $20,000.

Douglas has now admitted that she has had a serious gambling problem since she was a teenager, when she began stealing to play numbers. Psychologists have said that this began as a distraction from the sexually abusive situation she was in with a much older man. As the judge outlined her sentencing decision, she said she took her admission about her gambling problem into account.

Justice Richards said it was a “positive and encouraging first step” and that she must be offered rehabilitation to deal with her gambling problem while she is incarcerated to reduce her risk of reoffending when she is released. The judge also took a number of other mitigating circumstances into consideration as well as her early plea, discounting her sentence for those admissions.

But the judge also noted aggravating factors, including the fact that she had committed this crime while on conditional release. She had targeted some of the most vulnerable people in the community, largely low-paid expatriate workers looking for affordable accommodation, and the loss of the money had impacted their families overseas who depend on their remittances.

The judge said one victim had resorted to sleeping in his car after losing $1,600 to Douglas, while another had had to borrow money from their employer to secure a place to live.

Justice Richards said that as Douglas committed these crimes, she “must have been aware of the cruel impact of her actions” and noted her “wanton disregard for others and a focus on self”. The judge also pointed out that there was a significant level of harm to her victims.

Taking into consideration that probation officers believed there was a high risk of Douglas reoffending, Justice Richards said, “The defendant needs to be protected from herself, and the community needs to be protected from the defendant,” as she handed down a final jail term of 80 months with time served to be taken into account.

The judge has said she is prepared to hear arguments from the crown about trying to recover some of the missing money. Douglas has claimed that she spent most of it gambling, but the crown is seeking proof and has even asked for her to be compelled to reveal everything she has spent and where she had gambled.

However, her lawyer has argued that revealing such details would place Douglas in serious danger, considering the gun violence that has now become associated with the local illegal gambling shops.


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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (16)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    This woman is a professional con-artist and when she gets out, will only do it again… too lenient of a sentence… Third time should have been a wake up call for Justice Richards to enforce a much longer sentence.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    6 years and 8 months sentence…. translation … will likely be out on license in a few weeks.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Should have sold cocaine, she’d get a few months, elected to high office with a fat packet of pay and benefits….and free first class travel and 5 star accommodation.
      And maybe a bodyguard driver.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Longer than somebody gets for killing somebody!!

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Jon-Jon says that all these problems are because people are under pressure and extreme stress, so we have to overlook the crimes. Sorry everyone.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Jonjon is obviously looking votes from the woman’s family.
      The man does not have the intellect to see that crimes were committed and people were hurt.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Does she have to pay any restitution?

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  6. Anonymous says:

    A man would have received a longer sentence.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Sam Bankman-Fried, one of the most noteworthy fraud artists of our time, is looking at similar custodial sentencing. Albeit a first offense for him.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    She will probably end up charging her fellow inmates rent for their cells.

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