Female fraud suspect faces charges

| 04/07/2013

(CNS): The 52-year-old woman charged with the theft of approximately US$2 million from an elderly resident in the Cayman Islands made her first court appearance Tuesday before Magistrate Valdis Foldats in Summary Court. Michelle Bouchard, a Canadian national, is in Cayman on a student visa and is understood to be studying at the local law school. She was represented by Ben Tonner of Samson & McGrath, who asked the magistrate for an adjournment as he said he had just received the documents which he must revise and needed time to take instructions from the defendant. Bouchard, who is facing several other counts in addition to the theft, was bailed until her next appearance on 30 July.

The RCIPS Financial Crimes Unit went through an eight month long detailed investigation after the suspect was first arrested at her home in George Town. Bouchard was charged last week with eight counts of theft, obtaining property by deception, forgery and money laundering in what is believed to be a major fraud against an older, wealthy resident. A senior investigating officer on the case had confirmed that the defendant is known to the victim.

This case is believed to be one of the largest thefts against an individual in the Cayman Islands and is likely to be transmitted to the Grand Court, given the size of the alleged theft.

Bouchard was a former member of Rotary Sunrise and is the second person in the last few months from that branch of the service club to be charged with a major theft.

Michael Levitt, who is accused of stealing around $500,000 from his employers Solomon Harris, a former president of the club, is due to appear in court to answer the charges against him on Friday.

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