Three visitors who had pretended to be National Roads Authority employees and charged local businesses to paint lines in their parking lots were fined when they appeared in court this week.
David Gammel, Patrick Sheridan and John Quilligan wrapped up their legal obligations Wednesday, when the trio pleaded guilty in Summary Court to working without work permits. They had previously pleaded guilty in Grand Court to a pair of charges of obtaining property through deception.
Mr. Sheridan and Mr. Quilligan are Irish citizens, while Mr. Gammel is British. They had originally been accused of falsely representing themselves as employees of the National Roads Authority and painting lines in parking lots in multiple locations for profit, despite not having the appropriate authorization. The Crown stated that the charge of “personating an officer” and one of the charges of attempting to obtaining property by deception would lie on file.
“They are extremely sorry to the community and apologize for wasting the court’s time,” said defense attorney James Stenning as part of Wednesday’s sentencing hearing. “They are embarrassed by the media coverage of what they have done and they have brought shame to their families.”
The court heard Thursday that Mr. Quilligan, who is 22 years old, Mr. Sheridan, 23, and Mr. Gammel, 20, had no prior convictions and are men of previously good character.
Mr. Stenning told the court that the three young men had been forced to spend thousands of dollars in hotel fees while preparing for their case to be heard in Grand Court and Summary Court.
Magistrate Valdis Foldats told the defendants that work permits are an important part of how the Cayman government brings in money and told them that by working without a permit, they were defrauding the many workers who have gotten the appropriate paperwork.
“You’re not going to jail,” Magistrate Foldats told the men. “Just so you know, it was very close.”
As part of their guilty pleas, the court seized $1,164 that the trio earned as a result of their deception. Part of that money – $450 – was earmarked to compensate one of the businesses, CashWiz, that had employed the men.
Each of the defendants was also fined $280 for their Grand Court violations, and that money was also taken out of the funds seized. The defendants each had to pay $42 on top of the money seized to settle their fines and compensation order from the charges in Grand Court.
Mr. Sheridan, Mr. Gammel and Mr. Quilligan were also fined $500 each for their immigration offense.
The court also issued a forfeiture order in relation to equipment police seized from the car the men had been using, which included a paint spraying machine, tins of paints, extension cables, a broom and rolls of duct tape.
Magistrate Foldats said that the trio could have their passports and cellphones back as soon as they had made their payments, and the three were hoping to fly back home on Wednesday afternoon.