Man to do 240 hours service for scratch card con

| 20/02/2013

(CNS): A local man was sentenced to 12 months’ probation and 240 hours of community service after admitting to conning a local supermarket in a promotional competition. Paul Lankford pleaded guilty to attempting to obtain property by deception, obtaining property by deception and theft when he got over $5,000 during the Foster’s Food Fair Punch ‘N’ Play promotional competition in 2010. Lankford used forged Punch ‘N’ Play cards at three different Foster’s locations in attempts to con the store out of cash at each branch. At two of the locations, he was able to trick the staff and got $100 and $5,000 from the altered scratch cards. However, after the MD noticed Lankford’s photo on the winners’ board in two stores he decided to check the winning cards against their serial numbers to verify their claimed prize.

As a result of Woody Foster’s discovery, Lankford was subsequently questioned, at which point he admitted the offence and returned the money he had received.

Handing down sentence on Tuesday, Justice Charles Quin took into consideration Lankford’s guilty pleas, his cooperation with the authorities and previous good character. He also took into account the defendant’s low risk of reoffending and that he had completed secondary education, holds a Microsoft degree and has a history of gainful employment.

“I take into account the fact that all monies have been returned to Foster’s and the very fair and sympathetic approach that Mr Woody Foster has taken,” Justice Quin said in his ruling.

Lankford’s offence began on 25 August when he presented the first card in his possession to the staff of the Foster’s Republics branch in West Bay, where he was denied $2,500 funds because staff there were uneasy about the appearance of the card and suspected it had been tampered with.

However, later that day he visited the Countryside location, where he was able to redeem $100 from his forged ticket and his photograph was placed on the winners’ board. Shortly afterwards, the defendant attended the East End location with his girlfriend on 10 September, where he received an amount of $5,000 and got another opportunity to have his photo placed on the winners’ board along with his girlfriend.

When managing director Woody Foster’s suspicions were raised, both Lankford and his girlfriend were called back to the Foster’s Airport location and were questioned separately and subsequently arrested. The defendant’s girlfriend, Sydney Solomon, was later dropped from the charges as she was described as an “innocent instrument”.

Defence Counsel John Furniss told the court that the defendant repaid the money and did not create the false cards but took advantage of them. Reportedly, Lankford did not know how much he would redeem from his falsified cards and his surprised expressionacross the winners’ board was genuine.

His lawyer said that during this period of the defendant’s life he had been going through a difficult time and was drinking very heavily as well as being under treatment at the Mental Health Unit of the George Town hospital. Counsel and the probation officer also submitted that Lankford accepted that it was a “stupid” action and apologized to Foster’s for the inconvenience and expressed his remorse.

Ashleigh Hydes is a young intern from West Bay training to be a court correspondent with CNS.

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Category: Crime

Comments (35)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The sad part of this whole story is that if he had just a small amount of intelligence and forethought he could've gotten away with all of it. If I was conducting a scam like this, I definitely wouldn't have let them put my face on the winner's wall. You cannot take my picture without my permission. I wouldn't have attempted to collect on tickets in the same day. I would've waited months. Maybe Foster's Food Fair needs to consider these aspects as well. I suppose we should be thankful that there are still idiot criminals out there.

  2. Nastradamous says:
    Yes he is a Caymanian! A young Caymanian at that. And like everyone else in the world, made some bad decisions that they regret for the rest of their lives. It is obvious he was remorseful and sorry for what he had done by making a full admission at the earliest opportunity and making compensation to the business.
    The sad part about this whole thing, is that the main person behind the scam was another young person(boy genuis) who was then employed in the I.T. department of a very large law firm here. Fortunately for him, because of his connections with very senior members of staff at the firm, he was immediately packed up and sent off island to the overseas office to avoid prosecution.
    This too, is a type of CORRUPTION isnt it???



  3. Anonymous says:

    Wait a minute. There’s something missing here! He didn’t CREATE the cards but simply took advantage of them? Well, who did create the cards??? That’s the real devil that we need to get, before he finds another “patsy”. WHERE IS HE??? THAT’S the question we need answered!!

  4. Anonymous says:

    Seems like the guy did the right thing when caught, so if a first time offence and mitigating circumstances then whats the fuss about? And why are you all bickering over whether he is Caymanian or not,  its all just prejudiced codswallop. To me this seems fair and what would happen in similar circumstances in the UK. Regardless of where he is from.


    One lesson learned- in future I shall be very careful what I am scratching in public.

    • Anonymous says:

      Except the problem is that it's not his first offence. I personally know he's been caught driving under the influence and has had issues with assault before. I don't know whether the charges were held against him, but I have personally witnessed the police interacting with him before.

  5. Anonymous says:

    typical cayman justice…. do a crime…get caught, say sorry and serve no time….

    • Loopy Lou says:

      Find God, be selected by one of the parties to run in the next election . . .

  6. Anonymous says:

    if he was a caymanian man he would never see the light of day again,he would get 5 to 10 years thats what the locals get even for robbing a dollar store they get years in prison so why this jamaican didnt get the same .

    • Anonymous says:

      He IS a Caymanian. Born and raised, from West Bay. His family goes long back in Cayman. His grandfather is involved in the Catboat, and I know he works at Surfside Bar now, on Seven Mile Beach.

    • Anonymous says:

      Paul Lankford is a young Caymanian man…..

    • Truthseeker says:

      So,  If the last two posts are correct, then all of your concerns regardind unfair highlighting of Caymanians are incorrect. Please consider this. 


  7. CayStudent says:

    This, my friends, is a painless whip to the wrist of this young criminal. Community service for deception and theft? C'mon. That's just a pathetic court ruling. A better deterrent is needed surley. 

    • Anonymous says:

      … and likely nobody will ever follow up whether the Community Service was done in full and to a decent standard.

  8. Anonymous says:

    All the monies had been returned to foster's and… correct me if am wrong, shouldn't it be Fosters…in this sentence, and not Foster's ,in the possessive form?

    • C'mon son! says:

      No, because its Foster's Food Fair, Foster's owns the said Food Fair.  Hence possession.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Well-written story, however, probably shouldn’t mention in the story that this individual was receiving mental health assistance. The public doesn’t need to know that.

  10. Anonymous says:

    This type of dishonesty deserves jail time.

  11. Anonymous says:

    This is so anoying, please will you let the public know that this local man is not a CAYMANIAN. Only God knows how we can bear more of these things.

    • P A Rody says:

      How is he on the voting register then?

    • Anonymous says:

      He most certainly is a Caymanian.

    • Anonymous says:

      If he was Caymanian they would have mentioned it, trust me.

    • Anonymous says:

      It is attitudes like yours that fuel the deep divisions in the territory. 

    • Anonymous says:

      This man is a Caymanian, I went to prep and high school with him and he was born and raised in Cayman. His grandfather is Kem Jackson, who is the vice president of the Cayman Catboat Club. I can assure you, him and his entire family is thoroughly Caymanian.

    • Castor says:

      Well, if he isn't Caymanian, how can he stay on the island? He has been assigned 240 hours of community service. That means he must have a job in order to suport himself while he carries out his obligations. If he isn't Caymanian how can he have such a punishment meeted out? Sorry, don't understand. If he doesn't have ties to the Island, ie. citizenship, why wasn't a period of incarceration given with deportation to follow. Maybe someone can explain?

    • Anonymous says:


  12. Humpty Dumpty Pajamas says:

    He got $5100 from this scam and has to serve 240 hours. So this works out to be about $21 per hour. That's more than a lot of people that I know make. Where's the deterrent here? When are the courts going to get serious?

    • P A Rody says:

      read the story, he paid the money back , so it works out as $0 per hour.

      Sure if he hadn't paid the money back he would be serving time and costing us more money.

      I have done 240 hours of unpaid overtime so far this year, and I didn't steal anything:-(

    • Anonymous says:

      He doesn't get to keep the money…..

    • Diogenes says:

      Read the article – he repaid the money so got$0 per hour.

    • Anonymous says:

      Except he doesn't keep the 5100 dollars…

    • Anonymous says:

      Would the sentencing be so lenient for a caymanian?  Stop slapping those international thieves on their wrist and let them serve the time for crimes committed.