Fosters duped in bread roll con

| 21/02/2012

3057355 (263x300).jpg(CNS): A 46-year-old man managed to defraud Fosters Supermarket of almost $340,000 over two years by inflating invoices for the supply of cinnamon rolls, spicy buns and bread loaves, the Grand Court heard Tuesday. Dave Bryan, who was a partner at Cayman Bakery, denied being the mastermind behind the supermarket bread scam, charging Fosters thousands of dollars for huge quantities of bakery products while only actually delivering a few hundred dollars worth of goods, when his judge alone trial opened this morning. Bryan also faces charges relating to a loan from the Cayman Islands Development Bank, which he got after forging his partner’s signature.

Bryan, a Jamaican national, had partnered with Bernie Bush, a West Bay businessman, in the bakery venture but the court heard that Bush acted as a “silent partner” in the business while Bryan was “heavily involved in the day to day” running of the business.

The prosecution told the court that the bread con started in August of 2006 and it was not until May 2008 that the scam came to light by chance. During a random check the manager of Fosters Airport branch, where the scam was being perpetrated, found an invoice for bread for over $5,000.

Given that the Cayman Bakery did not have a van large enough and the supermarket shelves were not big enough to hold such huge quantities of bread, it was no surprise that the buns, rolls and loaves could not be found.

As a result, the manager took a closer look at more invoices from Cayman Bakery, one of five local bread suppliers used by Fosters, and found there was clearly a problem with the invoices.

Although the supermarket had a system in place to check orders, it appears that over the period of the fraud the deliveries and invoices from Cayman Bakery were not being checked and the crown says some staff were conspiring to assist Bryan in his con.

During the presentation of the crown’s case the prosecuting attorney said that when the bread was being delivered some staff members were simply signing the delivery on trust and authorizing the supermarket’s accounts department to pay. The lawyer also claimed that the accused man had altered invoices after they had been signed off by a supermarket manager when he delivered the invoice himself to the accounts office.

Meanwhile, the crown said, the defendant had also acted as a buffer in his own office between the accounts created for Fosters by the book-keeper at Cayman Bakery and the actual cheques he was receiving, keeping his own staff and partner in the dark about the significant fraud.

For almost two years Bryan delivered, or had the firm's driver deliver, an average load of around $140 of baked goods to the supermarket but was charging them as much as $1,400 on the inflated invoices. As a result Bryan managed to cream off more than $339,000, prosecutors claim.

After a full scale internal enquiry followed by a police investigation, the supermarket found that it had paid $395,000 for bread loaves, cinnamon rolls and spicy buns to Cayman Bakery that should have cost the store no more than $56,000.

The trial continues in Court 5 Thursday and is expected to last two weeks.

Category: Crime

Comments (48)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Cayman partners, should be held responsible for the actions of their Expat partners.   You do "own"  60% of the business.  you are responsible.

  2. Anonymous says:

    A future West BAY MLA in deed!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Do anyone know if this is the same Bernie Bush who has the boat that was supposed to have a liquor license to dispense liquor at Sting Ray City and about there? How is that business doing anyway?

  4. Anonymous says:

    This is how so many millionaires are made! Inflate the invoices. I feel sorry for Fosters, that family tries hard to please the customer!.

    But he also got a loan at the Cayman Islands Development Bank! Apparently he forged his partners signature! You mean the Manager of the Bank did not have a conversation with the partner, to discuss his obligations and the other banking details, before advancing the loan? I am sorry but the numbers do not add up here either! More people should be charged by the police! Oh well the CIDB is so profitable and they have so much work to do, they should be excused for this little breach in lending practice. Can someone remind me again why the CIDB even exist!

  5. Dred says:

    Here's another question I would like to see the answer to. This goes against the accounting staff of the bakery.

    So Mr Bryan presented Foster's with a dummy invoice to be paid. The bakery staff thought they sent out $140 worth of goods and are expexcting payment for the same but Fosters is being told it was $1,400. Now Mr Foster does not make a habit of paying businesses in cash at least God knows I hope not. So he writes a check to Cayman Bakery for $1,400. What I want to know is this….

    Who reconciles the bank account for the Cayman Bakery? Please don't tell me Mr Bryan does. How can he deposit a check for $1,400 and somehow get $140 to be recognized. This crime makes no sense without tons of people involved. Did he cash it? Would the bank allow that? Wouldn't the accounting staff ask questions why he is always giving them cash to deposit? He certainly could not write a check to the Cayman Bakery on Fosters checks. God knows I hope not.

    I could be wrong here but I believe its more than him at the business involved OR and this is a BIG no strike that HUGE OR they have mentally challenged staff members with no clue how to do their jobs.

    Did the Cayman Bakery accounts get audited by a reputable accounting firm? if so did they not think it strange what was happening deposits wise? 

    I am still left thinking WOW. What a monumental Bleep up.

    Mr Bush I know you were a silent partner but you should have known. Let's be straight this is not crime that happened over 1 month. This is a 2 year crime. His REPUTATION is on the line. When you put your name to something YOU NEED TO PROTECT IT. Did you not request for an audit to be done on the business? I don't think you were not making money off the business. I am sure you were making some profit as a percentage or something. As a sensible person that I know you to be YOU SHOULD HAVE GOTTEN THE BOOKS AUDITED. And if they were how was it not picked up? 

  6. Anonymous says:

    at "yeast" he didnt spend all the "dough" i know he was the familys "bread winner" but he was "rasin" hell at work it seems.

    he is in jail now and at "yeast" he knows what side his "breads" buttered on now.

    ok ok enough im "scone " now. lol (gone now) get it? urghhh.

  7. Anonymous says:

    How is this any different from Foster's and Kirk's charging me thousands of dollars for hundreds of dollars worth of groceries?

  8. Dred says:

    WOW.  Not sure where to begin on this.

    Mr Foster start by firing the following:

    1) Warehouse staff – The ones that signed off on the invoices by Cayman Bakery gotta go.

    2) Accounts Payable Staff – As a payable staff member you can not be mechanized you must process invoice with some degree of scrutiny. You should be asking questions about pricing on items. There is no way in hell 2 years should go by and you have not seen a ten times the price on a product.

    3) Auditors – How in the world could auditors miss this? Not once but twice.

    4) Controller – It's your job to implement controls that prevent this. I know there was a colusion whichakes it hard BUT its your job to prevent or catch this EVEN if there is collusion. No one gets a bly on this.

    5) Pricing Manager or whatever you call him/her – You have to see a difference in cost/pricing on a product which is costing you TEN times the normal price. Do you not compare prices? WOW.

     

    How did so many people miss this?

    All I can say is your system is not just broken but in shambles.

     

     

     

    • Alan Nivia says:

      "How did so many people miss this?"  You have not been here long have you?

  9. Anonymously IRON CLAD says:

    This should be a good lesson for you Bernie. That Jamaican partner has baked up a good Jamaican 'BUN' for you, unfortunately under a company name like Cayman Bakery.

  10. Anonymous says:

    OH, OH, oh,

    ANOTHERONE  wanting to represent us that will  turn a bline eye!!!

    Same pot!!!

  11. Anonymous says:

    For such a significant amount not to be missed for two years, it indicates that profits are indeed very good for a supermarket that claims they 'care"

  12. Anonymous says:

    I have to wonder about Foster's accounts department. You mean no one thought it strange to be paying $5000 bills for bread? Over what period of time? Weekly, monthly? Did Fosters think they were in arrears?

    Maybe they better also check the staff in Fosters accounting department. It is difficult for me to believe that this one man could pull off such a scheme and no one thought anything was fishy or questioned anything until about 2 years later. 

    I guess Fosters is such a busy place that they are just paying the bills, no one uses common sense or just basic math anymore, they just pay the bills. 

  13. Caymanian Boat Captain says:

    Caymanians "STOP THE FRONTING" !!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Why should we. The police and AG do not care. It’s only illegal in the laws. I don’t see why I should be deprived a little money by pretending to be an owner of a business – everyone’s doing it.

  14. Homer J. Ebanks says:

    Doh!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Bush should had noticed the discrepancy too.  The company profits should had been realized too.  Just saying!

    • Anonymous says:

      If you read the report it says that the scheme was hidden from Mr Bush also.

  16. Mushroom1 says:

    Oops 10x invoice, skipped typing class!

    • Anonymous says:

      Not necessarily, my understanding is that some of the funds paid by Fosters never made it into the company's books but in the alleged thief's pocket. So Bernie wouldn't have noticed anything different about the company's books. 

      Which leads to the next question? How could one person pull that off? 

      He presents one invoice to Fosters for payment which is for $1400 dollars but the invoice that the company has is for $140 dollars and the difference goes into his pocket so was Mr. Bryan baker, dishwasher, accountant, office manager and everything else in the business? 

  17. Mushroom1 says:

    Wow,
    At first I was surprised that Foster has such lack inventory conrol as such a major player in Cayman retail. But then I remember seeing their ‘help wanted’ ads, and what they pay their mgt staff, in the compass, and it all makes sense. No decent, honest manager would have missed that gigantic of a discrepancy for that long. Sure skimming a few bucks could be missed, but we are talking about 100x invoice. What kind of manager wouldn’t notice their percentage profit was NEGATIVE? And why would any decent manager continue to stock a product with a negative margin? Me thinks this goes deeper.

  18. Dreadlock Holmes says:

    Sort of like citizens paying MLA's for service they didn't receive?  Ie. those in Bodden Town.

  19. Anonymous says:

    LOL!  Now Fosters knows how we feel when we get duped, by them, into over paying for bread and milk to feed our families!

  20. BANANA BREAD says:

    nOW LISTEN UP FOLKS, this same scam is going on in half of Cayman Businesses right here on the Island.  Only a few nights ago I saw two receipts books being used, receiprs inflated.   I wish I could talk, but Tom know that Jerry know, and I might loose my lifefor a receipt book.

    People,  you need to pay more attention to those persons you have working for you, and trust me they are not Caymanians. 

    Caymanians are not getting these positions.  Half of the delivery services, construction companies, supermarkets, restaurants, shops, bars and I could list at least 20 more places that is being scammed by foreign nationals.   Some of these scammers have two receipt books.  I know it is happening at many hotels, because I get around.   Now i will expect all of you business people to put a closer watch on your foreign staff, because trust me you are getting it big time,   Even small places like garages and boody shops.  But these people who I know is getting scammed do not want to hire Caymanians, but boy art they getting fleeced. Lol.

    • Concerned Caymanian says:

      In our small business we have been scammed only by Caymanian bookkeepers, and more than once.  Now we only hire foreign nationals with much better results! This type of theft is rampant in Cayman, and nearly always by Caymanians unfortunately.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Sounds like someone is being set up.  I'm not saying he's innocent but he sure in a lot of places and no one noticing such big transactions?  Fishy to say the least.

     

  22. Dipstick says:

    I could produce $140 of bread products in my kitchen every day without breaking a sweat, hold down a full time job and not need a driver to take them to the store or staff to do the accounts Someone at Fosters must have been in on it and Mr Bush must have been a blind partner if he did not notice he did not own part of a commercial bakery. This is not right. How can it have taken 4 years to get to trial and have the trial last two weeks? Terrible investigation and prosecution.

  23. Anonymous says:

    I have 2 questions. 

    Mr. Bush was a partner and I assume director of the company and as a director is 100 pecent responsible for the companies accounts .  What was he doing for 2 years?

    I would think that the accountants for Foster Food Fair should have realized that the bills where way out of line.  Did Foster's replace their accountant?

  24. Anonymous says:

    Jeez who did their inventory?

  25. Anonymous says:

    so is this why fosters rips us off every day of the week?

    • Anonymous says:

      you are really sad and not funny….if there is one store that will not rip you off its Fosters. Even on their medicines, if they dont have it they will fedex it in at no additional cost to you. If the ships are not in they fly in the milk at no cost. Long remembered, Mr. David Foster, very honorable man.

      • Anonymous says:

        get real…i'm stillwaiting to see how they charge a 100% mark up on US prices….

    • Anonymous says:

      Anon 1645 if they are ripping us off so much why are they the preferred supermarket and the one with the lowest prices?

      • Anonymous says:

        What evidence is there that they are the 'preferred' supermarke.  Have you been taken in by all that false advertising?

  26. Anonymous says:

    That's a lot of dough!

  27. Anonymous says:

    a jamaican involved in a scam???…never!

  28. Anonymous says:

    what people will do for dough, err money..

  29. Anonymous says:

    Shouldn't Mr. Bush be done for fronting?  Or, if he was truly an engaged partner, for conspiracy and/or taking the proceeds of crime?  Or both?  The true issue here is not the man in the dock, but those not in it and the system which allows such nonsense to happy.  How much money can Fosters be making if they don't notice that their shelves are not stuffed with stale baker products?  The whole thing does not pass the sniff test.

    • Married to a Caymanian says:

      Fronting is against the law.  You are responsble for your employees! Shame on you Mr. Bush.  

      • Anonymous says:

        I disagree. If you hire someone to run your business and all the sales invoices and the revenues reconcile properlyfor the business, but the manager is giving separate bogus invoices to the customers and overcollecting and pocketing the difference, how would you know? You find out when the customer catches it. There are dishonest people who are placed in positions of trust all the time and is not a crime to misjudge a dishonest person for an honest person.

    • Hot Cross Bun says:

      I know you cant sleep at nights thinking about Premier Bush,  Please tell us what is the relationship between you too, because something is not right.

    • Anonymous says:

      caymanian justice……

      • bart simpson says:

        The best is yet to come! Wait until he goes to court with a faked medical diagnoses and he is given his passport to go oversees for medical treatment. Maybe the Canadian GUy is his partner. The crime and corruption we now see at the bottom is residue that is trickling down from the top. IT HAS BECOME A WAY OF LIFE so don't be surprised about anything anymore.

    • Anonymous says:

      Why do you people like to throw stones without knowing the facts? Mr. Bush used his property for the bakery, and borrowed against his assets to finance the business. Whether you like Mr. Bush or not, try to get the facts before taking cheap shots.

    • Anonymous says:

      How did you reach the conclusion that fronting was involved? Nice try to change the subject.

      I agree that is amazing that Fosters did not discover this much sooner. Don't they have audits?