Jail sentence ‘inevitable’ for fund thief, justice says

Trustee admitted stealing US$437,300 from fund

A woman who admitted stealing US$437,000 from a trust fund of which she was a trustee was remanded in custody Monday while waiting to hear the length of her sentence. 

Justice Charles Quin remanded Patricia Glasgow in custody but did not indicate the length of her sentence because the issue of compensation has not been resolved.  

However, he said that a custodial sentence was inevitable and the sooner she started serving it, the better.  

He adjourned her case until Feb. 20 while the compensation payment matter is considered. 

Glasgow, 46, pleaded guilty in November to stealing the money from Rochester Ltd., a trust fund for which she was a trustee while employed at Bodden Corporate Services. 

Crown Counsel Toyin Salako said that on the basis of material before the court, Glasgow did not have $437,300. However, Ms Salako invited Justice Quin to order payment of $75,000 because in every version of information before the court, $75,000 was being looked after by a relative. 

Justice Quin pointed out that Cayman’s Court of Appeal has stated that a compensation order should not be made without an inquiry into the defendant’s means. 

He noted that it is generally wrong to make a compensation order that would require sale of the defendant’s home, but it was not unreasonable to require the sale of other possessions.  

Paying compensation to the victim is not a way of buying one’s way out of prison, he indicated. Looked at another way, failure to pay the money back is more an absence of mitigation and not an aggravating feature. 

But overriding that, he found, the earlier voluntary repayment is made and the larger the amount, the greater the mitigation. 

The judge also pointed out that a court should not punish a defendant twice by imposing a sentence for the crime and then imposing a term of imprisonment if the defendant is unable to pay the compensation.  

Later in the hearing, he said he wanted to give Glasgow the opportunity to pay back as much as she could. 

Justice Quin said the victim is entitled to seek compensation. 

Defense attorney Ben Tonner referred to an ongoing civil proceedings started on behalf of Rochester Ltd. 

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