Three employers charged with failing to contribute to a pension plan for workers appeared in Summary Court on Thursday, when Magistrate Angelyn Hernandez said she was marking two of the files “final adjournment.”
The third one, she indicated, needed to be finalized by the end of the year.
In the case of Donald Ira Thompson and his company Precision Landscaping, Crown counsel Kenneth Ferguson asked for another two months to sort out the final amounts owed.
The magistrate checked the file, which contained a note that, on a previous occasion, the court had voiced displeasure at the age of the matter and had marked the case for June 28 as the final adjournment date.
“I have written in caps, FINAL,” she said for the next date, July 26.
Defense attorney John Furniss said the department dealing with pensions could have had a fair amount of money with interest if they had accepted a sum offered three years ago. He mentioned $50,000, which would have accrued $7,000 in interest since then.
The magistrate said, “We need to resolve this,” noting that some of the charges alleged non-payment from 2004. The case file first came to court in 2008.
Defense attorney Lloyd Samson represented Shoreway Builders Ltd. and company representatives Gillard and Laura McLaughlin. He agreed to Mr. Ferguson’s request for another two months.
Mr. Ferguson said it took “a lot of man-hours” to check all of the records in the case, which first came before the court in 2017.
The magistrate said she was marking Aug. 30 as “final adjournment.”
Leonard Prospere, trading as Cayman Surveying Property Consultants Ltd., told the court that he was “not quite” ready to settle his matter, which first came to court in 2014.
The magistrate said she saw file notes referring to sale of property. Mr. Prospere agreed, and said he hoped to sell property he owned in St. Lucia and thus be able to pay the outstanding pension contributions. He handed up an email from his attorney in St. Lucia, but the magistrate said it gave no assurance; it did not contain any specific date for the property to be sold.
Mr. Ferguson indicated that the defendant had given this account of his affairs for some time. “What we want is all the money due to employees, or as much as possible,” he told the court. “We have to, as it were, bend over backwards.”
The magistrate suggested that moving to sentence might provide motivation. “We’ll never get funds if we keep bending over,” she pointed out.
Mr. Ferguson confirmed that the value of the land would be more than the pension money owed, which was in the region of $30,000.
The magistrate asked if any money at all had been paid. Mr. Prospere said he had not paid anything, but could if the court made an order.
“Why do I have to make an order?” the magistrate asked. “You know it’s something you have to pay.”
Mr. Prospere said he could pay $1,000 per month. The magistrate said if he had been doing that for the past two years, he would almost be done.
She directed that he pay $1,000 by July 13 and $500 every two weeks after that. She set his next mention for Aug. 30, but said the matter needed to be finalized by the end of the year.