Mother of 5 to be sentenced for stealing $400K

The Law Courts Building in downtown George Town.
The Law Courts Building in downtown George Town. - Photo: Taneos Ramsay

A single mother who stole hundreds of thousands of dollars over a two-year period will have to wait a further three weeks to learn her fate.

Nadia Powery, 35, pleaded guilty to seven counts of theft, one count of obtaining a pecuniary advantage by deception, a single count of false accounting, and forgery.

During an initial sentencing hearing in the Grand Court on Friday, Crown prosecutor Toyin Salako told Acting Justice Marlene Carter that Powery stole the money from two separate employers by using her positions of trust to gain access to company funds.

“Powery was able to steal money from her employer … as she was left with signed blank cheques,” said Salako. “She stole money in a number of ways, including transferring money to family members; forging signatures on cheques, and making payments for utility bills, etc.”

During the first incident, Powery was employed as an accounts manager for a local short-term rental company. Between December 2015 and November 2016, she stole more than US$350,000, the court heard.

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“Ms. Powery used the money to pay medical bills for her young son, as well as to pay for other personal bills,” said Salako. “However, she also used the money to purchase a car for $20,000 and the vast majority of the money was spent on lavish vacations.”

The court heard that when Powery was initially caught by her employer, she admitted to the theft and promised to repay the money when she got a new job.

“Ms. Powery was able to find new employment with an insurance company where she went on to steal a further CI$19,975,” said Salako. “She stole the money through false accounting, while out on bail for the first set of offences. When she was caught, her employers learned she had failed to disclose her previous case.”

In offering mitigating defence for Powery, her attorney Richard Barton said, “Prior to the incident, Powery was the victim of an abusive relationship. She was a person of previous good character but now she will forever have to live with this shame and embarrassment.”

Powery sat in silence in the dock while the case was argued. She was released on bail and is expected to return for sentencing in November.

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