Mother sent to jail over bank theft

| 23/01/2012

(CNS): A former bank teller with Cayman National Bank has been sent to jail for 12 months on her first offense, despite having a one-year-old child. The sentence was handed down on Friday morning by the chief justice, who explained that in cases of theft regarding positions of trust with an employer the law requires a custodial sentence. Takeisha McLean had pleaded guilty to several counts of theft while she worked at the Cayman Brac branch of the bank. When McLean pleaded guilty to the crime she had just given birth and as a result her sentencing was postponed to provide an opportunity for bonding, the judge said.

Crown counsel John Masters told the judge that McLean's crimes had come to light when customers complained thatthe deposits to their bank accounts were different to those in their deposit books. McLean had been falsifying the deposits and cheques in order to give money to a man who she said she was afraid of and to buy groceries for her other children.

McLean’s attorney, Lucy Organ, noted that she had already made repayments of $1809 so far as she had managed to get a job with the Port Authority. Although the lawyer said her client had made child care arrangements for her very young child, she hoped the judge would find a way to suspend the sentence.

Chief Justice Anthony Smellie pointed out that the law called for a custodial sentence and incarceration was inevitable. He said McLean had deliberately stolen from bank but noted that this was a first offense and the defendant did not present a serious risk of reoffending, as he handed down a 12 month sentence for each of the twelve counts, to run concurrently.

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Comments (30)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    IF LIFE IS SO HARD FOR HER AND SHE FELT SHE HAD TO STEAL TO GET HER CHILDREN FOOD, WHY DOES SHE HAVE THREE KIDS. There seems to be NO thoughts by people who do not have enough money to care for children regarding protecting themselves from pregnancy.  The birth control methods available are MANY MANY MANY. YOUNG WOMEN the message for unna should be: do you think your young man is going to stay by you when you have a baby? You should prepare YOURSELFto care care of your child YOURSELF. (Child maintenance and enforcement of it here in Cayman is a JOKE!!!) And if you CANNOT? THEN USE PROTECTION OR BIRTH CONTROL. PERIOD. END OF STORY.  Ask HOW MANY YOUNG WOMEN on these islands if they use birth control. It's ridiculous.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think that she has more than three kids.  She definitely had at least one after the theft.  Obviously, like you said, if you are having money problems then you don't go and have more children.  She's really young and probably didn't manage money properly.  I must admit I didn't do it too well at her age either but I wouldn't steal.  Cayman Brac people are very helpful and I'm sure that all she had to do was seek assistance and she would have gotten some.  Hopefully, she has learned some lessons from this.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I can't believe that someone even brings up the fact that she has children, like that is supposed to be a "stay out of jail free card" or something.

    There are millions of people in this world who are starving and poor and make a decision every day NOT to steal.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Fraud and petty theft are rampant here.  Way back when, as an Ex-Pat, I was automatically presumed to be a flight and credit risk, and made to put up $500 deposits on all utilities and merchant accounts.  A handful of those sureties mysteriously vanished to Caymanian hands at some point over last 10 years.  I am sure there are thousands of others who "lost" the same amounts.  What are you going to do about it?!?

    • FBB says:

      I am sure no surety or deposit was "lost to Caymanian hands" as you allege and that is quite a nasty allegation.

      Did you keep your receipts?

      I have had to pay deposits to CUC, LIME, Water Authority and others and I have my receipts safe and secure. When I was closing the water authority account, I was advised that the deposit could be used to offset the final bill if I wished, similarly with CUC so if I were you I would ask for a billing history to ensure that your deposits were not applied to a bill.

      Also for you to specify that it was lost to some Caymanian hands is a very biased and unsubstantiated allegation because are all the employees of those companies you put deposits with all Caymanians?! I doubt.

      I am not saying all Caymanians are innocent as evidenced with this case but it seems that because of this case you are somehow alleging that all Caymanians are thieves.

      For a country that has been so good to you, you are an ungrateful and an undesirable member of our society and if this country has not been good to you, why are you still here?

    • Anonymous says:

      This is kind of an idiotic comment – are you accusing the companies or their employees? Because the law has caught up with someone but not with everyone, the law should not be applied? I don't get it. Really, what is your point?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Law is law; and she broke the law. Having a child doesn't change what she did from being both illegal and immoral. Society is governed by these rules for a reason and too many times do we hear of people find an opportunity and knowing it is wrong, still give in to the temptation. The courts were understanding by postponing and I think 1 year sounds reasonable for the amount stolen. Hopefully she will learn from her mistakes and realise you cannot just take things you have not earned, you cannot take the property of others without permission, you cannot cause harm or unrest to others in any facet whether physical or not.  

  5. Anonymous says:

    This sentence seems highly disproportionate, given that it is "only" theft from a bank employee, which the bank should have insurance to make the customer whole again.


    Remember the case of death by DUI where the young lady ( who I am not sure if she had any children to care for) received "only" 18 months?


    So, a woman gets 12 months for stealing to feed children and keep a roof over their heads, and another woman gets 18 months for driving drunk and killing a person. How is that "fair"

    • Anonymous says:

      Whether the bank has insurance or not is irrelevant. You make it seems like "no one actually got hurt so it is okay".

      People need to accept that there are consequences to their actions. A message needs to be sent, unfortunately I admit by the amount of stealing that is still rampant I am not sure how successfully the message is being conveyed but hopefully this young lady will certainly learnfrom this experience and not re-offend.

      Stealing is not the answer. I am a single mother and I have had my struggles but never once did it occur to me to steal anything (money, groceries etc). I have been turned down for loans from banks, I couldn't get a mortgage from multiple banks but I never thought of stealing. I wondered many times where the money was coming from to pay the electric bill, to buy groceries, the children needed lunch money, school uniforms but I never thought of stealing.

      For me personally I am a Christian and I believe that there is a gracious and merciful God who has taken care of my needs (not wants) and I would never think of stealing.

      I know not everyone is a Christian or even believe there is a God and to those I would say
      "I wish you could get to know my God" but even if they do not believe, there are other ways, legal ways to get assistance, no one has to steal to survive in this rich economy, they choose to steal.  

  6. Anonymous says:

    "in order to give money to a man who she said she was afraid of"


    Is this man being brought up on charges for extortion?

  7. Anonymous says:

    I knew this young woman personally, and although I am not giving her right for what she did, I know her life was hard raising three children. She barely had food some days and a place to stay was always at risk as rent was usually behind.

    Tekeisha, I pray you turn your life around and  I pray for your children and that God will grant you pardon for what you have done.

    • Anonymous says:

      I know her also and her mother and the Brac church community did not raise her like this. She made her bed hard so now she has to lay on it. No one told her to go out and keep having children that she could not afford, two or three of which she had after separating from her husband after stealing these funds. There is birth control which she could have used and chose not to use. Unfortunately her beautiful children are the ones that suffer along with the department of social services which has to assist because of her irresponsibility. Hopefully she will have no more children that she cannot afford

    • Anonymous says:

      I am not saying what she did was right, it was not, she stole money from her employer, but…..she is getting a sentence of 12 months and has starting paying the money back?  You have DRUNK DRIVERS getting into cars, and killing innocent people and what do they get???? 15 months?  She could have been given probation and even community service and of course to pay her employer back with interest….

  8. Anonymous says:

    Why does this case warrant jail time when a previous case before the court received a suspended sentence?

    • Like It Is says:

      Because it is best not to repeat mistakes.  One year is not enough given the high incidence of this type of crime.  The others must be discouraged.

      • Anonymous says:

        I can write a list of ppl who have stolen money from CNB and nothing came of it. What goes for one should go for all.

        • Anonymous says:

          Stealing should be discouraged.  Too many have been given a slap on the wrist, and felt they were smart to get away.  If they commit the crime, let them serve the time.

          • Anonymous says:

            Not disagreeing with you at all. I'm just saying what about the others who have stolen money and faced no consequences. One person inparticular stole a few thousands but the family I believe repaid most of it if not all and the culprit is free like a bird and seemingly turned their life around after the incident. Another person was pinning debit/credit cards and taking ppl's cash; this same person though fired went on to have lucrative jobs at major law firms etc. I'm not saying every1 who steals will do it again and at times it could be an impulse thing and not premeditated but stealing is stealing and if you are gonna punish one then punish all. This person is gonna spend 1 year in prison when they were obviously struggling (not excusing what she did she must do the time) but others who practically had it made did the same and walked free? Not fair but I guess it's the world we live in.

      • Anonymous says:

        Obviously  you have not educated yourself in regard to the benefits of prison terms.  It does not rehabilitate.  It destroys so it's really the place for violent criminals to be kept from society but it doesn't help the individual.  Please do some research before joining the lynch mob

  9. Right ya so says:

    What difference does it make that she just had a child?!?!  She stole, that's it. Period. The End.

    We need to stop making excuses for people that perform criminal acts! We all know right from wrong. People need to know that there are consequences for their actions and we as a society need to start enforcing that.

    • Anonymous says:

      Careful now….. Do you have Kids?

    • Anonymous says:

      EVERY criminal has an excuse. If she didnt want to go to prison, dont steal. How selfish of her. Her child will be fine. Hoefully mom can find the right road now. DONT steal…..l.and you will be fine.

    • Anonymous says:

      Jail is not the answer for our social ills.  Good counselling and bible based principles would help.

  10. Tiny Briefs says:

    Why was someone who is on trial for fraud getting a job at the port authority?