Caymanian not guilty in Britain

A man born in the Cayman and
Islands and now residing in the United Kingdom, has been found not guilty of
fraud by abuse of position.

Kerry Whittaker, 34, was facing
charges stemming from allegations that he had taken 217,000 British pounds from
a customer’s account at Lloyds TSB, where he was a personal banker, and funnelled
172,000 it into the account of a Hungarian woman, Victoria Kazi.

According to the London Evening
Standard’s Courts Correspondent, Paul Cheston, Mr. Whittaker had set up a
fraudulent account in the name of bank customer John Meadows and Ms Kazi.

Mr. Whittaker maintained that he
had set up the account as a result of being under duress and was being
pressured by a Nigerian man whom he referred to as “John”, who threatened to
tell Lloyds TSB about his past incarceration in the Cayman Islands for
marijuana consumption and possession at the age of 17. 

During interviews with Lloyds TSB
after the incident, Mr. Whittaker told officials at the bank, “I felt as if
John knew too much about how I worked.”

“How would the bank like to know
you were in prison?” Whittaker said John asked, referring to Mr. Whittaker’s
jail time for smoking marijuana.
Mr. Whittaker said during his testimony that he had “…opened an account for
someone who I didn’t think was the right person,”

Ms Kazi, who the Evening Standard’s
reporter said Whittaker admitted to finding attractive when she walked into his
Lloyds TSB Bromley branch wearing shorts and a “skimpy” top, was found guilty
of converting criminal property and money laundering. She faces 14 years in
prison.

She told the court she handed her
Lloyds TSB card to two African men who had convinced her they needed her
account to transfer money.

Ms Kazi, 26, admitted to spending
42,000 of the British pounds on Rolex watches and other luxury items in one
day, but claimed she was unaware the money belonged to Lloyds TSB customer, Mr.
John Meadows.

She was convicted of laundering
28,850 of a total 172,000 British pounds that was transferred from the
“Kazi-Meadows” account into her personal account.

The jury also found her guilty of
attempted fraud, after she tried to cash a cheque for 4,000 British pounds.

Ms Kazi insisted she took part in
the scheme as a result of receiving death threats. She will be sentenced on 19
July.