Charmaine Moss and Canover Watson appeared before the Summary Court on Tuesday to face charges of defrauding local and regional football bodies.
Moss, 45, and Watson, 49, along with Jeffrey Webb, 55, are alledged to have conspired to defraud the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF) between January 2012 and September 2014. According to court documents, the trio is alleged to have created a fake company called Ironshore International Limited*, and then submitted inflated and fraudulent invoices to CONCACAF.
Moss and Webb are also jointly charged with an additional count of conspiracy to defraud CONCACAF, which alleges the submission of more fraudulent invoices during the same period.
Moss also faces a third charge of converting criminal property in relation to funds transferred to Ironshore International and Moss International Limited.
Defence attorney Nicholas Dixie, representing Moss, told Magistrate Valdis Foldats that he had hoped to have the matter adjourned.
“The difficulty we face is that we have requested the prosecution review the charges and file them as a statutory offence, instead of a common law offence,” said Dixie.
The charges against the defendants have been filed as common law offences, which, together with the nature of the charges, causes them to fall in the Category A bracket, and those can only be dealt with in the Grand Court. By changing the charges to statutory offences under Section 321 of the Cayman Islands Penal Code, they would be deemed to be Category B offences and, therefore, the matters could be dealt with in either the Summary Court or the Grand Court.
Foldats said the charges were listed as common law offences and “fall as Category A offences, which means I must transmit them to the Grand Court forthwith”.
“I suppose your Honour may be right,” said Dixie, “However, I am worried, having received a 16-page summary of facts documents. Furthermore, if we intend to apply for a ‘no case to answer’ submission, there are strict time constraints. This is a complex case and, ultimately, the Crown has a duty to continued review.”
Prosecutor Toyin Salako said she would review the charges, but added that it was unlikely that they would be changed from being a common law offence.
Watson, who is represented by Amelia Fosuhene, had his charges elevated to the Grand Court as well.
At the time of the alleged offences, Webb was a FIFA vice president, the president of CONCACAF, and the president of the Cayman Islands Football Association. Watson served as a CIFA executive. Moss did not serve in an official capacity with CIFA, but worked closely with the association, according to court documents.
Moss works for the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service as a business case development manager. Police Commissioner Derek Byrne has stated that she has been placed on required leave.
Moss and Watson were released on bail. Their next appearance will be before the Grand Court on 24 Jan.
Webb was not present in court. He remains on strict bail conditions in the US for unrelated matters of a similar nature.
*Editor’s note: This company has no relation to a company of the same name based in the UK.