Mac took cash in Vegas

| 13/06/2013

mirage-hotel-and-casino.jpg(CNS): A new indictment filed in the local courts in connection with the charges against former premier McKeeva Bush shows that, despite comments by the RCIPS that charges against him had not been dropped, the UDP leader is no longer charged with theft. Nevertheless, the former premier is still facing eleven serious charges that relate to him taking cash or using his government credit card in casinos in Las Vegas, Florida and the Bahamas. On eleven different occasions between July 2009, just weeks after he was elected, and April 2010 the crown alleges that Bush made more than $50,000 of illegitimate transactions. No longer alleging theft, the new indictment still accuses Bush of unlawfully using the card while travelling.

Bush now faces six counts of misconduct in public office under the common law and a further five charges of breach of trust under the anti-corruption law, all of which would attract imprisonment penalties if Bush were to be convicted.

The Cayman Islands first premier is accused of beginning the illegitimate transactions with the government Royal Bank of Canada card in the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Hollywood, Florida, between the 10-15 July 2009, when he took $5,236 and incurred charges of $122.72. This is followed by more than $3,000 at the same hotel casino chain in Tampa just over a month later in August 2009, again with related charges.

In September, back again at the Seminole in Hollywood, Florida, he took over $1,500 and a further $2,016 was taken from the same location in October 2009, plus over a $1,000 and $2,000 spent on two separate occasions in November, the indictment alleges.

In 2010 the charges change from misconduct to breach of trust as a result of the implementation of the anti-corruption law. The alleged crimes are of a similar nature but also include transactions in Las Vegas, a non-business trip, and in the Bahamas, as well as more transactions at the Seminole in Hollywood, Florida.

In January 2010 Bush was back at the Hollywood Seminole, where he is alleged to have used the card to the tune of $3,012 on one occasion and a further $1,004 two days later. Then, in February Bush was in Vegas, where he allegedly spent almost $12,900 at the Mirage Hotel and Casino, the Bellagio Hotel and the Venetian Las Vegas Casino.

Just over a month later in March, transactions totalling more than $17,000 were allegedly recorded at the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas, as well as the Seminole in Hollywood, Florida. The last offence on the indictment alleges another unlawful transaction at the Seminole of more than $1,000.

Bush has categorically denied all of the allegations against him and stated that, where necessary, the money was paid back. On the campaign trail he said the cash withdrawals were for legitimate purposes as well as for his own security and medical assistance for his wife .

However, other sources allege that not all of the spending  considered unlawful has been paid back. Furthermore, Bush also has to contend with the fact that government credit cards cannot be used  to take cash, buy alcohol or for any other purpose than legitimate public business expense and they cannot be used as a source of advances. It is alleged that Bush also used the card on several occasions when he was travelling for pleasure.

Bush is due to appear in Grand Court on Friday 28 June.

See full indictment below.

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Category: Crime

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