Former college president denies $535,000 fraud

The former president of the University College of the Cayman Islands Hassan Syed has denied stealing more than $500,000 from his former employer. 

Syed formally entered not guilty pleas in the Grand Court on Friday to a string of dishonesty offenses relating to his time as head of the institution between 2006 and 2008. 

He is accused of falsely claiming to have a doctorate to get the position as president of UCCI. 

He is also alleged to have used his UCCI credit card for a series of fraudulent expenses and purchased a US$20,000 Mitsubishi motor car from Tony’s Toys using a UCCI check. 

Other charges on the indictment include fraudulently obtaining a $70,000 salary advance from the college, falsely claiming official travel expenses for family members, and buying bathroom cabinets on his UCCI credit card. 

He is also accused of submitting false invoices totalling just over $65,000 to UCCI for a company called Lominger International Services. 

As the 13 individual charges were read aloud to him in court, Syed answered not guilty to each in turn. 

In total, he is charged with seven counts of obtaining money transfers by deception, three counts of theft and three counts of obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception. He is alleged to have defrauded the college a total of just over $535,000. 

Crown counsel Toyin Salako requested an early trial date. Amelia Fosuhene, for Syed, said the defense needed time to prepare having only recently taken over the case. 

A plea and directions hearing was set for Feb. 20. 

The full charges against Mr. Syed are: 

Obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception: Between August 2006 and May 2008, obtaining the position of president of UCCI by deception by falsely representing that he was the holder of a doctorate.  

Theft: Between September 2006 and June 2008, stealing US$335,107.99 from UCCI. 

Obtaining a money transfer by deception: On or after November 2006, obtaining a money transfer by deception totaling $3,787.18 by falsely claiming travel expenses for family members. 

Theft: Between March 2007 and March 2008, stealing US$7,318.12 from UCCI. Theft: On or after August 2007, stealing US$10,000 from UCCI. 

Obtaining a money transfer by deception: On or after September 2007, obtaining a money transfer by deception totaling US$20,000 by making payments to Tony’s Toys for a Mitsubishi car and presenting a UCCI check for payment. Obtaining a money transfer by deception: On or after October 2007, obtaining a money transfer by deception totaling $30,772.96 by submitting a false invoice to UCCI for Lominger International Services. 

Obtaining a money transfer by deception: On or after October 2007, obtaining a money transfer by deception totaling US$42,946.27 by submitting a false invoice to UCCI for Lominger International Services. 

Obtaining a money transfer by deception: On or after December 2007, obtaining a money transfer by deception totaling US$8,835.89 by submitting a false invoice to UCCI. 

Obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception: On or after December 2007, obtaining a pecuniary advantage totaling US$42,948.11 by presenting a false time sheet for payment to UCCI. 

Obtaining money transfer by deception: On or after January 2008, obtaining a money transfer by deception totaling $71,472 by obtaining a six-month salary advance from UCCI. 

Obtaining money transfer by deception: On or after February 2008, obtaining a money transfer totaling US$5,000 by making payment on bathroom cabinetry using a UCCI credit card. 

Obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception: On or after February 2008, obtaining a pecuniary advantage totaling CI$42,000 by submitting false time sheets for payment at UCCI. 

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