Creed sentencing adjourned again

Sentencing for money-laundering convictions was postponed again, this time until 26 May, in the case of Raymond Frank Creed.

Found guilty on 19 April by a jury of 11, the defendant appeared before Chief Justice Anthony Smellie last Friday, following an adjournment from 28 April.

Issues still to be resolved include confiscation of assets.

The court was also asked to consider Creed’s ill health and age – 71. The offences of which he was found guilty occurred in 1998-99.

On Friday, Attorney Delroy Murray summarised the situation. He said Creed was before the court convicted of four counts charging various money-laundering offences, on the basis that he provided assistance to Kenneth Taves in Taves’ attempt to conceal or disguise the proceeds of credit card fraud.

That fraud, which took place in the US, totalled approximately US$37.5 million. Of that sum, approximately US$25 million was transferred to the Cayman Islands.

The sum for which Creed was convicted of being involved with was US$6.2 million.

The Chief Justice asked the amount by which the Crown said Creed had benefited.

Solicitor General Cheryll Richards, who conducted the prosecution, referred to two sums, totalling US$500,000.

She also advised of the total realisable assets identified by investigating officers: a local bank held US$1,984,238.11; real estate valued at $547,500; motor vehicle, value $1,990; a boat with motor and trailer, $6,250.

The greater part of the hearing dealt with mitigation for the defendant and then sentencing precedents cited by Ms Richards.

Mr. Murray, who was instructed by Defence Attorney Steve McField for the trial, told the court that Creed was of previous good character, with no convictions in any of the other jurisdictions in which he had lived: Australia, Canada and US.

The defendant was in very poor health, which would be further aggravated by incarceration, Mr. Murray said. Creed’s conditions include diabetes, cardiac problems, hypertension and sleep apnea in addition to osteoarthritis in both knees.

The defendant had been scheduled for a knee replacement, which was postponed because of his health problems. Now, doctors had decided to go ahead with the surgery on 18 May. They will use an epidural block to deaden the area by injecting him in the spine rather than using anaesthesia, the attorney explained. When Creed recuperates, he would have the other knee done.

He would require in-patient hospitalisation as well as post-operative treatment, Mr. Murray pointed out.

The attorney submitted that, coupled with general ill health, a period of incarceration would subject Creed to an unusual degree of hardship.

Ms Richards cited two local precedents for money laundering. In both cases the men received a term of imprisonment. Other cases she mentioned were from the UK.

She said authorities seemed to suggest the ill health and age of the defendant are factors that should be taken into account by way of discount. But it appeared that even extremely poor health did not reduce completely the other factors to be considered.

Ms Richards listed these to include the length of time over which the money laundering occurred, the amount of money, the extent of knowledge of the defendant and the role he played, whether the crime would have been committed without that laundering, the financial gain to the defendant and his plea.

The Chief Justice continued bail for Creed until 26 May under the same conditions as were imposed on 19 April. At that time, he was allowed to stand surety for himself in the sum of $500,000, pledging that amount from his bank accounts that have been frozen.

He was also required to reside in the George Town area until his hospitalization so that police could make spot checks on him.

Although his assets have been restrained by a court order, he has been allowed a certain amount for living expenses as well as his medical expenses.

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