Indictment names 36 complainants, most of whom allegedly paid $2,500
Two women pleaded not guilty on Friday to being involved in a scheme to obtain money by falsely representing to the payer that permanent residence would be granted.
Marcia Angella Hamilton and Judith Francia Douglas also pleaded not guilty to 36 charges of obtaining property by deception. Details allege that the women, together with a third woman, dishonestly obtained money from a named individual by falsely representing that the money was required for the purpose of submitting a legitimate application to the Cayman Islands government for permanent residence. Almost all of the charges specified the sum of $2,500.
Incidents leading to the charges occurred between September 2009 and April 2010.
When the matter first came to Summary Court on 24 April this year, only Hamilton and Douglas attended. According to notes kept by the Caymanian Compass, the third defendant, Kathleen Rosetta Davis, did not appear. The charge sheet gave her age as 70.
In Grand Court on Friday in Grand Cayman, Crown Counsel Michael Snape advised that Davis “chose to no longer remain in the Cayman Islands”.
Douglas was further charged on her own with obstructing justice by allegedly telling one of the complainants in May 2010 to withhold receipts in her possession from the Immigration Department, who at the time was conducting an investigation. She pleaded not guilty.
Permanent residence is a matter dealt with through the Immigration Department. The charges of obtaining property by deception were brought under the Penal Code.
The charge of entering into or becoming concerned in an arrangement with each other – namely a scheme to obtain money by the false representation – for use or control of criminal property is brought under the Proceeds of Crime Law.
Hamilton, 44, was represented by attorney Margeta Facey-Clarke.
Douglas, 46, was represented by attorney Paul Murphy.
Mr. Snape advised that there were some 60 Crown witnesses and the trial could take as long as four weeks. He therefore suggested another mention date.
Justice Carol Beswick adjourned the matter and directed the women to return to court on Friday, 7 September.