Woman fined for selling numbers

Proceeds of Crime Law has heavy penalties

Lois Fay Bush, 60, was fined $700 on Monday after pleading guilty to unlawful gaming and possession of criminal property. 

She was originally scheduled for trial when Magistrate Nova Hall ruled her plea of “guilty with explanation” amounted to a not guilty plea. The explanation was that she was selling tickets to an extravaganza dance at the Lions Centre. To her it was a form of gambling, she said, because people who bought tickets were interested in winning a money prize. 

However, Crown Counsel Laura Manson showed Bush a statement with “#s” in Bush’s handwriting. “Yes, these are numbers,” she said, so the guilty plea was accepted. 

The charges originally related to US$433 and CI$1,083, the amounts seized when Bush was arrested at her home in West Bay on 16 November, 2010. Ms Manson asked to substitute US$36 and CI$248 after various receipts were submitted to show where some of the money came from, including rent. 

The charges arose after officers attended Bush’s residence acting on information received. Two people were sitting outside and the defendant was inside when the officers produced a search warrant. The people outside were searched and nothing was found. Inside, officers found a receipt book, a legal pad, a calculator and two small bags with money in them. She told officers the money was a bank loan and a withdrawal from an ATM. 

She was initially charged with allowing her premises to be used as a common gaming house, but the charge was amended to unlawful gaming, specifically the sale of numbers. Both offences are under the same section of The Gambling Law and are subject to the same penalty – a fine of $400 “or to imprisonment, with or without hard labour, for 12 months.” 

The magistrate said possession of criminal property – the money – was a charge brought under a different law with heavier penalties. The Proceeds of Crime Law provides a maximum penalty of $5,000 and imprisonment up to two years or both. 

In the circumstances of the case, she imposed fines of $350 for each offence, a total of $700, plus confiscation of the amounts to which Bush pleaded guilty. 

The defendant asked if she would get the rest of her money back. She was told that the confiscated sums and the fines would be paid from the money seized and the balance would be returned to her. 


  1. There are certain police that target Caymanians trying to make a dollar in this recession. I know of foreign Police who target only Caymanians and it is sad that we have to put up with them. There needs to be a balance in the RCIP. Not sure who these officers were but I’ll bet you they were foreign. I do not approve of gambling either but there are numbers being played in cayman. When a poor Caymanian lady try to help herself this is what happens.

  2. Sorry, Dubai (Muslim country BTW) – run this by me again….

    You KNOW certain police target Caymanians and you KNOW foreign police target Caymanians BUT

    You DON’T KNOW who these police are but you’ll BET they are foreign!

    You don’t approve of GAMBLING but you’ll BET…

    Are you for real? Are you on the same planet as the rest of us or have you been stoking up on the old ganja in the sun?

  3. Seriously folks, a possible sentence of a year with hard labor sounds totally ridiculous. You have real crime, armed robberies, people beaten , bank robberies and here the police are seeking out a number writer. Get your priorities straight folks. while its a crime because of legislative enactment, i don’t think the poor dear should be dealt with so harshly.

  4. Dubai

    Its whats called enciting racial hatred and is more serious than some old dear organising a game of bingo, take that chip off your shoulder and get a life

  5. They harassed her because she is a woman. There is an element withing the Police and private sector community to harass women for the least little thing. Here 2 women are missing. One is trying to make a living like the churches selling raffle tickets

  6. dubai, oh its because she is a woman now? those damn police foreigners and their woman hating….the Cayman male could teach them a thing or two about respecting women……you should write for the Daily Mail

  7. The police have time to do a full investigation on this woman BUT yet dont have a clue on the women that are going missing on this island.

    How sad!

  8. The police still have a job to do. The lot of you say that it starts with the little things first. Hello, this is one of those. In this anti-law enforcement society, it’s a no win for the police. Damn if they do, damn if they don’t. Poor old lady my foot. What kind of example is she setting for her grand kids? Is she telling them that it is o.k to break the law? They may not sell numbers but may resort to stealing and robbing / selling dope. It all starts with the example.

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