Serial scammer spent stolen cash on gambling

| 22/02/2024 | 22 Comments
Cayman News Service
Judith Douglas

(CNS): Judith Douglas (58), who was convicted last summer of a criminal scam in which she stole tens of thousands of dollars from more than 32 people, has a serious gambling problem, the court heard Wednesday. In her third conviction for conning people out of cash, Douglas stole well over CI$50,000 just months after her release from jail, having served time for stealing CI$1.85 million in a status scam.

In that crime, she had convinced Nathanial Robb, the owner of a dive operation, that she had acquired permanent residency for him and would secure status for him as well through a backdoor process with the help of government inside sources. Week after week and month after month, she took money from Robb until she was finally arrested and sent to jail. She was originally handed a ten-year sentence, which was reduced to five following an appeal.

In this latest case, in early 2022, less than six months after being released on licence for stealing from Robb, Douglas repeatedly took money from different people as deposits and advance rent for an apartment on her family’s land on Diaz Lane, George Town, even though it was already occupied, but then blew the money on illegal numbers.

While Douglas did pay back around CI$14,000 to a number of victims, most of the people she conned, who had each given her around CI$1,600 and could ill afford to lose it, remain out of pocket.

Her first conviction was in 2015 for a status scam similar to the theft from Robb. She was jailed for conning around $20,000 from several people on the promise that she could secure Caymanian status for them through a backdoor process. She was also charged in 2018 with conning people out of cash to pay for household goods that she never supplied — a charge that remains on file.

Appearing on her behalf at a sentencing hearing on Wednesday, defence attorney Jonathon Hughes, from Samson Law, explained that Douglas had gambled away at least $40,000 of the money she had stolen. He said that she had continued to take money from victims and continued to gamble in a hopeless effort to win back the money and repay the prospective tenants.

Explaining how the scam had started, he said she had taken a deposit and rent from the first victim because she genuinely believed the tenants occupying the apartment at the time were moving out. However, they didn’t leave, but she had no money to repay the first victim because she had gambled it away. So she took cash from another unsuspecting victim in the same scam to pay the first victim back.

As the gambling losses mounted, so did the debts to the prospective tenants, Hughes told the court. Despite her intentions, the limited winnings only allowed Douglas to repay a handful of prospective tenants — who were not included in this indictment.

Douglas, who is now in custody, has only recently come to terms with her gambling addiction, and she had made efforts on her own behalf to see a psychologist on a regular basis, Hughes said. But since her conditional release licence was revoked last year and she returned to jail, she has had no help from the prison service for her long-term and serious gambling addiction.

Hughes said that Douglas was introduced to gambling by a man who had sexually abused her for most of her childhood. She was also the victim of abusive parents who not only beat their children but also chained them up, resulting in mental health problems and poor relationships with other people. Since accepting her addiction, Hughes said that she was “ashamed and guilt-ridden” about her behaviour.

As he tried to persuade the court to show leniency to his client, who is looking at several more years behind bars, he read a letter she had written in which she expressed “profound regret and remorse” and pleaded for professional help for her gambling addiction.

The crown had earlier said there was no evidence that Douglas had gambled away the stolen money, as they sought a compensation order for her victims. The prosecutor pointed out that since 2015, Douglas has conned dozens of victims out of millions of dollars and has spent less than two years out of jail since 2016.

Hughes argued in response that she had no money to pay compensation. While there is no paper trail, since the numbers game here is illegal, Douglas visited online gambling sites on average a dozen times a day to check the international lotteries that the local number shops use.

Justice Cheryll Richards, who is presiding over the case, said that she would deliver her sentencing ruling on 28 February as she remanded Douglas into custody.

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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (22)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    there goes the sexual abuse and mental health excuse again.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The real winner is…the defendant. She probably has money tied up in property here or abroad. Check it out police.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Did nobody ask this individual the size of her bets, the amount of money is staggering, – I’m not convinced someone playing numbers could even spend this kind of money, I’m siding with the crowns suspicion on this one 💸

  4. WBW Czar. says:

    Rest easy Judith. I am glad you are finally getting help.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Where did she gamble, on island? Get her to give up the information on who runs this and where, and crack down on them.

  6. Anonymous says:

    she has a gambling addiction? I don’t care. Lock her up and seize all her assets.

  7. Elvis says:

    Professional thies, and she still lying now to try get away with it it seems lmao

  8. Anonymous says:

    Once a thief, always a theif

  9. Anonymous says:

    She has acquired millions running multiple scams over 8+ years. There is apparently no evidence that she gambled away the money although that is her claim, and she has spent less than 2 years in prison? That is roughly a million per year to do gentle time at our expense. Where is the incentive to stop? No doubt she will be out again in a few weeks/months acquiring millions more. Our penal code is a joke.

    • Anonymous says:

      22 @ 5:13pm – and those who apply it are a bigger joke. RCIPS struggles to prevent good evidence in cases; DPP struggles to convict; Judges struggle to apply fair sentences!!

      Saturday Night Live!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    She conned and stole money from people who couldn’t afford it. They were complicit in the con, because they were paying for “services” that weren’t legal.

    Seize whatever assets she still has, give restitution to those who deserve it, and bury her for all time. She won’t change. She is probably already rigging a con within the walls of HMP Fairbanks.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I never understand why these judges need all this extra time to deliver a sentence. like all the informarion has just been presented to you and is fresh in your mind. Why do they need to go home for a few weeks ,eat TV dinners and think about it, while wasting peoples time and money! just get on with it

  12. Anonymous says:

    Time for the cops to come down hard on all these illegal gambling activities. Everyone of them knows where they are and who runs them…so stop it. Gambling ruins lives.

  13. Anonymous says:

    She’s 58 and now pulling her Uno reverse cards about gambling addiction and abusive upbringing?

    Send her away for a good amount of time!

  14. Anonymous says:

    Always easier to develop a gambling problem when it’s not your own money.

    Common thief- send her back where she came from!

  15. Anonymous says:

    I’ll guess that every court appearance also con’s us tax payers by requiring legal aid.

  16. Anonymous says:

    She will just be released again after a ridiculously short prison sentence and get straight back at it. How many chances is she going to get? Its insanity.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Too bad. She stole from people to engage in her fantasy. Throw the book at her and seize any all assets she has and use that for restitution of the victims. Zero sympathy for this loser.

  18. Anonymous says:

    So the real winner here is the number man

  19. Anonymous says:

    Throw away the key.


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