Ex-ERA chief admits to forgery, theft

joey-ebanks-cayman-sml.jpg

Former Electricity Regulatory Authority chief Joey Ebanks has admitted scamming his employer out of around $100,000, spending a large chunk of the cash on iPhones and iPads. 

Ebanks also admitted falsely claiming more than $7,000 in property and expenses for a business trip to Edmonton, Canada, amid a string of theft and forgery charges. 

Reversing his earlier not guilty pleas, the former political candidate admitted to 17 charges of obtaining money and property by deception, making documents without authority and forgery during his time as managing director of the authority. 

The charges, which span a seven-month period between September 2012 and March 2013, included a $67,000 spending splurge at the Cayman Mac store.  

He also admitted forging the signature of his deputy Louis Boucher on two checks, as well as making documents without authority by signing ERA checks to the Cayman Mac Store. 

During the brief hearing before Justice Charles Quin on Friday, the original trial date, set for June, was vacated. Mr. Ebanks spoke only to enter guilty pleas as the litany of charges was read to him one by one. 

A social inquiry report was ordered and sentencing set for March 13. 

Mr. Ebanks was suspended from the Electricity Regulatory Authority in March last year when allegations of financial misconduct first surfaced.  

Until Friday he had loudly protested his innocence, claiming he was being victimized for his refusal to overlook alleged anomalies in the bid process that led to Dart Enterprise Construction Company being awarded a contract to produce 36 megawatts of electricity. 

The contract was suspended and an investigation launched as a result of his allegations. 

Mr. Ebanks also ran a high-profile but ultimately unsuccessful election campaign in North Side, presenting himself as the candidate who would restore integrity to Caymanian politics and running under the slogan “I am not afraid.” 

He has used his Facebook page to protest his innocence and make a series of allegations about public figures, including the former governor and Dan Scott, head of the Judicial and Legal Services Commission in the Cayman Islands.  

His original Facebook page was no longer in operation Friday, and he appeared to have changed his email address and cell phone number. 

The full charges which Mr. Ebanks admitted on Friday were: 

Obtaining property by deception. Nov. 7-13, 2012. Obtained $5,201.74 worth of property by falsely representing it was required for official ERA travel to Edmonton, Canada. 

Obtaining a money transfer by deception. Nov. 23, 2012. Obtained a money transfer for $1,957 by falsely representing the funds were required for official travel expenses to Edmonton, Canada. 

Obtaining property by deception. Nov. 30, 2012 – Feb. 26, 2013, dishonestly obtained $67,950 belonging to the ERA by presenting checks to the Cayman Mac Store as good and valid payment. 

Making a document without authority. Jan 29, 2013. Signed ERA check worth $22,240 to the Cayman Mac Store. 

Making a document without authority. Feb. 22, 2013. Signed ERA check worth $24,441 to the Cayman Mac Store. 

Making a document without authority. Feb. 25, 2013. Signed ERA check worth $5,655 to the Cayman Mac Store. 

Obtaining property by deception. Dec. 20, 2012. Dishonestly obtained $2,000 belonging to the ERA by representing a check as good and valid for payment. 

Obtaining property by deception. Dec. 21, 2012. Dishonestly obtained $1,200 belonging to the ERA by representing a check as good and valid for payment. 

Forgery. Jan. 1, 2013. Signed a check in the name of Louis Boucher without authority. 

Obtaining property by deception. Jan. 6, 2013. Dishonestly obtained $375 belonging to the ERA by representing a check as good and valid for payment. 

Obtaining a money transfer by deception. Jan. 18, 2013. Obtained a money transfer of $1,200 by falsely representing that funds were required for ERA official business. 

Forgery. Jan. 28, 2013. Signed a check in the name of Louis Boucher without authority. 

Obtaining property by deception. Jan. 29, 2013. Dishonestly obtained $5,000 belonging to the ERA by representing a check as good and valid for payment. 

Obtaining property by deception. Feb., 22, 2013. Dishonestly obtained $2,500 belonging to the ERA by representing a check as good and valid for payment. 

Obtaining property by deception. Sep. 1, 2012 – March 31, 2013. Dishonestly obtained Apple iPhones and other products worth $67,944 belonging to the Mac store. 

Transferring criminal property. Nov. 1, 2012 – March, 31, 2013. Transferred criminal property to another, namely iPhone and iPad products. 

joey-ebanks-cayman.jpg

Mr. Ebanks
0
0

1 COMMENT

  1. I ask myself, what happened to conscience? I believe God gave each of us one. The problem is we stifle and compress it to commit dishonest and criminal acts. Based on the 16 full charges from obtaining property by deception to making unauthorized documents, temptation got the better of the ex-ERA chief. Did he ever stop for a moment to ask himself, ‘this is wrong. How can I do this. A very sad case indeed. He has betrayed the trust of his appointment to the position and those who put him there. He now faces the music. Be sure your sin will find you out.

    0

    0

Comments are closed.