Con artist gets five-year sentence for $1.9 million scam

The Courthouse Building in downtown George Town. – photo: Taneos Ramsay

Convicted con artist Judith Francis Douglas has been given a five-year prison sentence, after having pled guilty to scamming a dive instructor out of $1.9 million, under the guise that the money was for legitimate fees for his Caymanian status application.

Douglas, 55, was originally convicted of obtaining property by deception in July 2019, following a two-week jury trial. At the time, she was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

However, the conviction and subsequent prison sentence were overturned in October 2020 by the Court of Appeal, which ruled the conviction was unsafe because the judge behaved in a “hostile” and “inappropriate” way towards Douglas during the trial.

A retrial was ordered for January 2021 but, before the trial could begin, Douglas entered a guilty plea.

During a video link hearing earlier today, Justice Phillip St John-Stevens handed down the five-year prison sentence which was reduced to reflect the mismanagement of the previous trial. When arriving at his decision, a 10% deduction was also granted to Douglas for her guilty plea.

Douglas has been in custody since 2017 in relation this case and other matters of a similar nature. The judge ordered that the time she has served in custody so far be deducted from her sentence.

As a result, Douglas will soon be eligible for parole.

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