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Watson, Blake deny CIFA fraud-related charges

Two former soccer officials have denied multiple corruption charges linked to claims they fraudulently funnelled cash through the Cayman Islands Football Association bank account.

Trio to face trial on football fraud charges

Charmaine Moss and Canover Watson returned to Grand Court on Friday to face charges of fraud and corruption relating to the Confederation of North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football (CONCACAF).

Two appear in court over football fraud

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, Watson and Webb charged with fraud

Charmaine Moss, Jeffrey Webb and Canover Watson are all jointly charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud CONCACAF (Confederation, North, Central America and Caribbean Association Football).

Former football execs appear in Grand Court

Two former high‑ranking football officials made their initial appearances in Grand Court Friday to answer to several corruption‑related charges.

Football exec Blake vows to fight corruption charges

Football executive Bruce Blake has vowed to “vigorously defend” himself against corruption allegations after being charged with multiple offences late last week.

FIFA signals CIFA will receive renewed funding

Cayman was welcomed back into the global football community Friday, when FIFA President Gianni Infantino led a delegation to visit the headquarters of the Cayman Islands Football Association.

Former football officials Watson, Blake charged

Two former senior officials of the Cayman Islands Football Association have been charged with a string of offences, including money laundering and false accounting, in connection with an ongoing corruption probe.

Watson released from prison after 28 months

Cayman Islands businessman Canover Watson was arrested by Anti-Corruption Commission officers Monday immediately after his release on license from Her Majesty’s Prison, Northward.

Sources: Watson arrested again in football funds probe

Cayman Islands businessman Canover Watson was arrested Monday by officers from the Anti-Corruption Commission, the Cayman Compass has confirmed through numerous official sources.

Prisons director to review release scheme

Interim Prisons Director Steven Barrett said he will review Cayman’s temporary release program for lower-risk inmates at Her Majesty’s Prison, Northward, but that he was “not aware of any significant failure” in that system since his arrival in February.

Court orders Watson to pay US$1.1M over CarePay scheme

Cayman Islands businessman Canover Watson was ordered Thursday to pay the government US$1.12 million (CI$925,995.58) over his role in the CarePay hospital swipe-card fraud, for which he was sentenced to seven years in prison.

Crown has days left for CarePay confiscation

If the Cayman Islands government is going to take any money from Canover Watson as a result of his conviction in the CarePay hospital swipe-card contract scam, it will have to settle that amount by Friday.

Judge: Watson and others ‘benefited’ US$6.8M from CarePay

Cayman Islands businessman Canover Watson and others “jointly benefited” from the CarePay public hospital fraud scheme to the tune of US$6.79 million, a Grand Court judge found Thursday.

Prosecutors reveal delays in football association probe

Although he was arrested more than six months ago in connection with a criminal investigation at the Cayman Islands Football Association, former CIFA treasurer Canover Watson has yet to be interviewed by police investigating the case, a court heard Friday.

Watson confiscation hearing set for January

The confiscation hearing for  Canover Watson has been set for January 2018, nearly two years after he was found guilty of two counts of defrauding the government, as well as three corruption-related offenses in connection with the CarePay case.

‘Wholly without merit’: Court rejects Canover Watson’s appeal

After hearing former Health Services Authority Chairman Canover Watson’s application to appeal his fraud- and corruption-related convictions on Thursday afternoon, justices for the Court of Appeal adjourned for less than 10 minutes before returning with their decision.

Lawmakers skeptical of CarePay ‘fixes’

Efforts to prevent a reoccurrence of bureaucratic bungles that led Cayman Islands taxpayers to spend US$1.8 million for nothing during the CarePay contract debacle drew skepticism from lawmakers who noted there had been little accountability in the wake of the disastrous deal’s end.

Canover Watson arrested in CIFA probe

The second man arrested last week in connection with a corruption and money laundering probe involving the Cayman Islands Football Association is jailed businessman Canover Watson, according to numerous government and local football sources. Watson, 46, was taken to the Fairbanks jail and questioned Friday, according to authorities.

Watson’s attorney challenges trial judge

Former Health Services Authority Board chairman Canover Watson will be allowed to retain Queen’s Counsel in his pursuit of an appeal against a seven-year prison sentence following a 2015-2016 fraud and corruption trial.

EDITORIAL – The quality of Cayman crime: (Not good enough!)

The Cayman Islands is one of the world’s foremost offshore financial centers, home to complex multibillion-dollar corporate structures. Accordingly, you would think that the crimes committed here would tend to be really smart. Not so.

EDITORIAL – CarePay scandal: Its epitaph is not yet written

CarePay is dead. But its residue lingers all over the Cayman Islands. The lead story in Wednesday’s Compass was a partial exhumation of the CarePay issue. During a meeting of the Public Accounts Committee, Superintendent of Health Insurance Mervyn Conolly told lawmakers that Cayman still needs a real-time electronic verification system for healthcare claims, following the government’s previous unsuccessful effort.

Watson sent to prison, investigation stalls

Canover Watson began serving a seven-year prison sentence in early February on charges of conspiracy to defraud, fraud on the government, breach of trust and conflict of interest charges following a Grand Court verdict in the CarePay trial.

Two arrests for corruption made in 2015/16

The Cayman Islands government recorded two arrests and one conviction for corruption-related offenses during its last budget year, according to a report made public last month.

Watson receives legal aid for conviction appeal

A Caymanian businessman whose personal assets were stated at more than $3 million during his criminal trial early this year has been granted legal aid to appeal his conviction on fraud and corruption charges. The Grand Court heard Monday afternoon that Canover Watson, 46, had received legal aid assistance for the appeal, but that no legal assistance had been given – or asked for – in his pending asset forfeiture matter.

CarePay audit: US$1.8M spent on non-existent project

The Cayman Islands government spent US$1.8 million (CI$1.5 million) on a fraudulent plan to “roll out” a healthcare patient swipe-card system to private sector doctors and insurers, an audit of the public hospital system’s CarePay project has confirmed.

EDITORIAL – CarePay audit: No clean bill of public health

Case closed on CarePay? For the sake of the people of the Cayman Islands who are picking up the tab for this sordid affair, it better not be.

Former CONCACAF, Admiral headquarters for sale

The downtown George Town office building that once housed former CONCACAF President Jeffrey Webb’s office and his friend Canover Watson’s financial services company is being sold.

Watson, Aspinall blacklisted by finance regulator

Canover Norbert Watson and Robert Neil Aspinall have each been identified by the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority as “not a fit and proper person” to hold certain positions in the Cayman Islands financial services industry.

Review of CarePay debacle complete

The internal review of the Cayman Islands government’s catastrophic five-year, US$13 million dollar contract for hospital patient insurance adjudication services has been completed, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson said Friday.

Watson says he will seek legal aid

Canover Watson told a Grand Court judge Monday that he would ask for legal aid in ongoing asset forfeiture proceedings and an appeal resulting from his February conviction on conspiracy to defraud and corruption-related charges.

Webb’s FIFA plea deal sought from US court

Details of cooperation agreements between three key defendants in the ongoing FIFA corruption investigation, including a deal struck with Cayman’s Jeffrey Webb, are being sought by a U.S.-based news organization which filed a formal request with the federal court for those records earlier this month.

EDITORIAL – Opting out of public healthcare

It’s official: Not even the government wants to be locked into the government’s healthcare system.
The $600,000 loan agreement between Forward Sports and the Cayman Islands Football Association was ostensibly concluded to assist with the construction of the National Training Center. - Photo: Matt Lamers

Loans, gifts and graft: CIFA and CONCACAF’s Panama connections

A Panamanian company set up by Canover Watson that was allegedly used to receive a $1.1 million bribe payment from Traffic Sports to Jeffrey Webb is the same entity that had a controversial $600,000 loan agreement with the Cayman Islands Football Association, documents reveal.

EDITORIAL – Auditing the CarePay audit

When identifying the factors for gross financial malfeasance, accountants are okay, but police officers are far better. The difference is that accountants carry calculators, while the police carry handcuffs.

Canover Watson appeal filed

Defense attorney Ben Tonner confirmed on Friday that an appeal has been filed on behalf of Canover Watson, who was found guilty earlier this month of various fraud-related charges.

Details of ministers’ meeting with CarePay witness revealed

Former Health Services Authority Chief Information Officer Dale Sanders said Tuesday that he did not accept any reward or contract from Cayman Islands government ministers as a result of a private meeting in Washington, D.C., in 2013.

CarePay: Health ministry, HSA face audit

Cayman Islands Deputy Governor Franz Manderson has ordered government’s internal auditors to look into events surrounding the award and implementation of the CarePay hospital swipe-card contract, in the wake of what were described as “shocking” revelations during former Health Services Authority Board Chairman Canover Watson’s criminal trial.

Time short for Watson appeal

The deadline for Cayman Islands businessman Canover Watson to appeal his Grand Court conviction on five fraud and corruption-related charges is Friday.

Health chief reveals new criminal probe into CarePay

Withholds information on IT contract

Watson’s 2007 YCLA award rescinded

The board of the Young Caymanian Leadership Awards decided Wednesday to “formally rescind” the award given to Canover Watson in 2007 for outstanding achievement and service to the community.

EDITORIAL – Orrett Connor’s intemperate on-air remarks

Venomous remarks that are calculated to divide people on the basis of skin color are always reprehensible but even more so when uttered by someone of the former Cabinet Secretary's stature.

CIFA members involved with CarePay pharmacy deal

At least three members of the Cayman Islands Football Association, including Canover Watson and Jeffrey Webb, intended to benefit from the creation of a new pharmacy business.

Webb parties amid FIFA fallout

His best friend and someone he once described as “his brother” was sent to jail for seven years Friday.

EDITORIAL – FIFA scandal fallout: not just ‘not over,’ but barely begun

Canover Watson is in Northward Prison. Jeffrey Webb is under house arrest in Georgia. And yet the local fallout from the global FIFA scandal has barely started.

Football firm linked to FIFA probe, Watson court case

A Pakistan-based football products manufacturing company has been linked in legal documents to the ongoing FIFA corruption and bribery probe in the United States.

EDITORIAL – The verdict on the verdict: A good start

The conviction of former Health Services Authority chairman Canover Watson for fraud and breach of trust answers one question about the public hospital system’s CarePay scheme, but raises a legion of others about corruption, complicity, indifference and incompetence in the highest levels of the Cayman Islands officialdom.

CarePay trial: Watson begins serving sentence

Convicted fraudster Canover Watson, 45, began serving his seven-year prison sentence Friday on charges of conspiracy to defraud, fraud on the government, breach of trust and conflict of interest following a Grand Court verdict in the CarePay trial.

BREAKING: Watson sentenced to 7 years

Millionaire Caymanian businessman Canover Watson was sentenced to seven years in prison Friday, one day after he was found guilty of five out of six criminal charges against him in connection with the CarePay hospital contract investigation.

CarePay trial: Canover Watson guilty on 5 criminal charges

A Cayman Islands Grand Court jury found Canover Watson guilty Thursday on five of the six criminal charges against him, following a two-month trial.

BREAKING: Watson guilty on five of six charges

Other two charges still being deliberated

CarePay trial: Jury deliberating on Watson case

One man and six women must now decide the fate of Cayman Islands businessman Canover Watson, charged in six separate counts related to alleged corrupt acts involving the award of a public hospital system patient services contract.

CarePay Trial – Judge: Conspiracy forms ‘crux’ of Watson prosecution

Two months of testimony in a prosecution that called more than two dozen witnesses can be boiled down to a concept that a Cayman Islands Grand Court justice called “dead easy,” jurors in the criminal trial of Canover Watson heard Tuesday.

CarePay Trial: ‘Did this man sell you out?’

Cayman Islands prosecutors described Canover Watson last week as an unscrupulous businessman, a backroom wheeler-dealer who used his position on a high-profile public agency to enrich himself, his business partner Jeffrey Webb, and perhaps others.

CarePay: Crown, Watson’s attorneys make final arguments

Crown prosecutors began closing speeches Thursday morning in the criminal trial of Canover Watson, who is accused in connection with a scheme to defraud the Cayman Islands government in relation to the CarePay patient swipe-card contract for the public hospital system.

CarePay trial: CIFA centre of excellence cash not returned

A sum of $250,000 deposited in a Fidelity Bank account via the Cayman Islands Football Association through another local company was never returned to the company that paid it, Canover Watson testified Tuesday during his criminal trial.

CarePay trial – False contract supported US$1.8M payments

An admittedly bogus 31-page contract was used to support US$1.8 million in payments made during 2011-2012 for the expansion of the public hospital’s CarePay...

Watson: Minister Scotland agreed on CarePay expansion

Hours before government officials signed what became known as the CarePay contract, behind-the-scenes negotiations on the five-year, US$13 million deal were still occurring, Canover Watson testified in his criminal trial last week.

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