I’m a liar & a thief, says Joey

| 03/04/2014

(CNS): Joey Ebanks held his hands up in court Thursday when he said, via his attorney, that he was "a liar and a thief and a drug addict", and accepted responsibility for the theft of more than CI$140,000 in cash and goods from the Electricity Regulatory Authority and the Mac store. During the sentencing hearing the judge told Ebanks that it was inevitable that he would be going to jail as it was a breach of trust case, as he remanded the former ERA managing director in custody. Ben Tonner, Ebanks' lawyer, made no excuses for his client's crime because, he said, he had been told by Ebanks not to sugarcoat what he had done as he, and no one else, was responsible for the actions he had taken and the decisions he made.

Prosecuting counsel, Trevor Ward, QC, outlined the case against Ebanks to the court when he revealed that the former ERA boss had made false expense claims, cashed forged cheques and purchased 69 iPhones and 47 iPads with ERA funds and then fenced some of those to a local pawn shop via an un-named third party. The offending began with a false expense claim for a trip to Canada in November 2012 and ended in February 2013 when an audit exposed the catalogue of financial irregularities at Ebanks' hand.

The court heard that while the bulk of the cash was stolen from the public funds in the ERA accounts, the local Mac store is also still owed over $50,000 for iPads and iPhones because the forged cheques accepted by the store were not honored by the bank.

Although Ebanks had protested his innocence when he had first been charged, Tonner told the court that Ebanks had contacted him in Decemebr and came clean about his guilt and asked to change his plea. In January Ebanks returned to the court and entered the guilty pleas to all 17 counts. Since then Tonner said his client was a changed man and described Ebanks as a completely different person. He said that unlike many others that come before the courts, the sincerity of Ebanks' remorse could not be doubted. The attorney said that Ebanks wanted to apologize to the court, the community and his family.

Although Ebanks has expressed a genuine desire to make restitution to pay back what he stole, Tonner pointed out that it was, given his circumstances, now unrealistic because the money was gone, having been spent on his drug addiction. The crown conceded that there was no evidence that Ebanks had the money and as a result would not seek a compensation order.

Justice Charles Quin said that he wanted to consider his decision on sentencing and to take time to read the social enquiry report. But given the offence, Ebanks would be facing a custodial sentence. The judge remanded him in custody until Wednesday 16 April.

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Category: Crime

Comments (98)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    What happend yesterday? Was it postponed again?

  2. Anonymous says:

    There is a difference between 'coming clean' AFTER you have been caught.  Admitting it to authorities AND the public before they went through the effort of bringing you to trial would have been more believable. What Mr. Ebanks is doing is making an attempt to reduce his sentence in the wake of overwhelming evidence. This is a plea to the judge NOT the public. Who ultimately paid for his excesses. And the trust he broke. His admission of addiction maybe the cause of this but the optics are off as well as the timing. Nice try though.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Stealing is simply stealing. Dosent matter how you steal it is the same noun "Thief". Overseas travelling for personal benefits etc etc is considered stealing. Giving  monies to churches for their support is also stealing and should be paid back by the givers. Joey I am much afraid have alot of competition. Oh and it would b remise of me not to mention the paving of private propertys.

     

  4. Anonymous says:

    He/She who is without sin cast the first stone, end of story.  Cayman has become one unforgiving place for its people but it is willing to forgive ever scumbag that enters this shore does wrong and asks for forgivness.  I cannot wait for the day when this shore becomes like Fiji but without a Goerge Spate then like it was with Hurrican Ivan we will be calling the radio stations to play gospel music to sooth our sorry souls.

  5. Anonymous says:

    What a way Caymanians like to destroy their own and glout in another's failure. At least he is man enough to admit to his failures. There are alot of Joeys in hiding.

  6. Anonymous says:

    We knew that long time

  7. Anonymous says:

    Do not forget "IDIOT" also.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Birds of a feather flock …you know the saying  I bet his best friends had no idea

    NOT

  9. Anonymous says:

    It takes a good man to come clean? What are you saying you buffoon, 

    maybe if he said I'm a lier and a thief at the interview he wouldn't be in this situation, oh boy I'd love to look in his meds cupboard, bet it's packed, damn idiot 

  10. dr kananga says:

    What nationality is he?

    • Anonymous says:

      Jamaican and Caymanian, of course 😉

    • Otherview says:

      Colombian .

    • Anonymous says:

      Liar and thief

    • Anonymous says:

      HE IS LOCAL… CAYMANIAN…. but what does that matter…

      Liars, theives, drug addicts and much much more than he is…hail from every nationality….

      Nationality should not come into play…. as long as he is fairly sentenced for his wrong doings.

      He broke laws of the country, now he needs to pay the consquences.

    • Anonymous says:

      He is a Caymanian with a big heart that helped to give you the priveledge of being here.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Anyhow you look at this situation its a sad one. Whilst substance abuse and addiction is evident in this drama there is too an underlying mental health issue visible to anyone who spoke or interacted with Joey in 2013. Joey is a likable character, with a massive personality – and despite the fall out most people who know him – like him.

    We can only hope that prison will get him the help he needs – and not instead expose him to more substance abuse opportunities. So too that Joey will learn from this, and resist the temptation in the next run of elections and stay out of North Side politics and concentrate on his continued recovery. Finding God can help, but professional medical guidance is just as important. In the last run up to elections Joey said and did many things that hurt and angered many of his follow North Siders. It was a position of hate that motivated his outbursts and the proof is there, radio tapes of his shows, comments on his Facebook page. 

    A large number of us followed his often painful public breakdown, it was at times entertaining and provocative. He should be made to repay every cent he stole as it was the public's money and as such it should be respected. 

  12. Anonymous says:

    While Joey is admitting guilt someone should get him to admit who his supplier was! That is the low life who I would love to see go down.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Addiction is a horrible disease and this is another sad story of how it destroys lives.

  14. Anonymous says:

    They are many more well known people are in denial who are on drugs! Time will tell like how time exposed Joey drug problem!

  15. Anonymous says:

    6 months of denying and now he admits and therefor a reduced sentence.

    Am I missing something here ?

    You lie to the public for half a year !! Your punishment should be increased.

    With the amount of money he stole, we could have helped some poor families.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      You get a reduction because you avoided the necessity of a trial. However, the reduction is not as much as if you had pleaded guilty at the first opportunity.  

  16. Anonymous says:

    What about paying back OUR money ?????

    And did he name his cocaine suppliers ????

    And which politicians (if not all) knew about it, and ask US to help the police ???

    There is more story to this, don't let it slip to the background as usual.

  17. Anonymous says:

    CI$140.000.00 pre-paid salary, plus an all expense paid vacation at the Northward Hotel???

    Only Winner here is Joey Ebanks.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I saw on someone's FB page the day after the most recent elections that "North Siders must have loved the treatment of Ezzard, by putting him back in" and asking "why not give Joey a chance?"…well now I think you can clearly see that North Siders did not have much of a choice. It was either Ezzard or a raging coke-induced lunatic.

    • The Real Just Sayin' says:

      Funny thing is, Joey would still have been the better choice. 

      • Anonymous says:

        By a mile the better choice.

      • Anonymous says:

        You rcomments says more about thatn it does about Ezzard. You much prefer a criminal convicted of offences of dishonesty who will sit in prison for a the next couple of years rather than a hard working representative. 

  19. Anonymous says:

    Tell us something we didn't already know.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I am simple enough to believe that if this case went to trial there would be a lot of revelations that would shock the community because Joey called out some high profile names and threatened to expose a lot. Like a previous writer, I too have to wonder if this in not a cover up and buy out to keep his mouth shut.

    • Anonymous says:

      Everyone sees conspiracy everywhere on this island, on literally every article on CNS you will find a conspiracy theory…so many that the truth is easy to hide…that is the conspiracy in my view.

    • Anonymous says:

      I wonder if anyone is giving him more spending money to keep their names out of it…….?  That could keep him in the white stuff for quite some time I think

       

  21. Broken Hearted Young Caymanian says:

    As I sit and read these comments I am yet again dissapointed in my country. Yes Joey has done wrong and I understand punishment is a part of that but who are we to judge?? How many of us has put ourselves in his position and his family's position? We cant swear that we wont have to deal with this one day. And to all of you who thinks he hasnt found God perhaps you should try to find him for yourself. As a Young Caymanian trying to raise my children here I am disgusted by the attitudes of MY people!! We are so quick to judge and criticize and cast people aside that its no wonder this country is in the mess it is.

    Joey I am proud of you! 1 For admitting you are wrong. 2 For turning your life over to God and 3 For not being afraid even if it did cost your freedom.

    God Bless and protect you and your family!!

    • Anonymous says:

      People like you make it possible for politicians who steal, lie, are drunk and addicted to drugsetc to walk away with no penalty at all, because they suddenly believe in your god.

      And there are plenty examples . . .

      That mentality destroys our country. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you are  hypocrite, since you have been very quick to judge the posters on the site.  I am not a hypocrite, because I am openly judgmental.  Joey is a theiving scumbag who deserves to rot in jail and I don't buy any of the God or remorse BS, because he is saying these things when he is trying to reduce his sentence.

      • Ironic says:

        I am in total agreement. Joey being a theiving, lying scumbag drug addict who has repeatedely ripped off the good taxpayers of this Island  is one thing, but to run for public office, and start a radio talk show to defend his actions, and denigrate the Governor and others in authority while protesting his innocence, while pretending to be drug free is on a whole other level. On top of that, pulling the religion card and suddenly "finding God", how low can you go? And then, his defense claims his crime is at the low end of the scale? I am registering BS at 9 on the Richter scale!   

         "the sincerity of Ebanks' remorse could not be doubted" Double BS, I doubt it. That puts an end to that argument. No restitution? The man has zero assetts? Give me a break!

        Apparently he is a “proud Caymanian” with a long history of public service and is truly sorry to the court, his community and his family.

        Like the Turtle Farm fiasco? 

        Scum who go caught!

         

      • Anonymous says:

        I agree with most of your comments….he should be made to pay back every cent of the money, and he should go to jail for the wrong he has done, but not rot in jail surely.  Using drugs hurts him and sadly it also spilled onto his family life and work.

        We will never know for sure if he is professing remorse and that he has really found God because he his hoping for a lesser sentence. Perhaps like your decision to be openly judgmental which is your right, and many will agree with you, he is really genuienly taking ownership of his poor judgment…taking responsibility for his poor choices and actions. 

        His poor judgement clearly played a role in his eratic behaviour patterns which in turn led him to make the poor choices he has in the past years which impacted his work ethics and our community. The person selling  him or providing him with the drugs, are as much, or should be more to blame in my opinion. 

        None of us know what our future holds…and how our lives or family member lives will play out. We all hope for great things, but unfortunately that is not always the case. If it were we would have a perfect world.

        There is a saying…." every saint has a past and every sinner has a future".

        While you or I may not have made the poor choices he made, we are not perfect.  There are no normal people in this world. The only normal ones are the ones you don't know well and while they may not  have the same issues Joey has… they, we all have issues.

        We all got crap going on albeit not all on same level. Let him pay the price as he should, but I sincerely hope he gets the help he clearly needs whilst in prison.  It is seriously important that he is properly rehabilitated so he is able to make a meaningful contribution to society when he is realeased, in whatever role he pursue and not re-offend.

        Thoughts are with his family, this has to be very tough on them. 

        • Anonymous says:

          I think the full saying is "every saint has a past and every sinner has a future but the sinner who was an arrogant, lying, coke addled thief is very likely to have a future that is more sinner than saint"

  22. Knot S Smart says:

    So you are now a liar and a thief?

    Ok… Up-a-yard-you-go…

    Next in line – show me your hands please…

    "My hands are clean and my heart is pure"…

    Ok… Up-a-yard-you-go too…

  23. Foreign Devil says:

    Lying cheating stealing".."……".." Who would have thunk it?

  24. UHUHUH says:

    Yes folks ! What Joey did was totally wrong and now he must pay for his misdeeds! But what about his enablers? Those who knew of his addiction, yet they kept putting him in positions where he was in charge of finances thus able to do the things he had to, to support his habit. Should they [those who appointed him] not bear "some" responsibility for what he did to support his habit? You see folks, these are the things I speak of when I talk about responsibility without accountability! Everyone involved in enabling him to do what he did must bear some responsibility and most definitely should be held to some degree of accountability. And who were the suppliers of the drugs? We never hear of these guys going to prison. And it's not because the authorities don't know who or where they are. 

    These are the reasons I constantly speak of  limiting the ability of "legislators" to appoint persons  to positions such as, the head  of the Electricity Regulatory Authority.  Positions of importance  such as these, should be interviewed by and decisions to hire made by, a select committee of  men and women of  unquestionable character and integrity. Because as has been seen over the last two decades we keep appointing persons to positions who are of  a less than stellar  background and/or persons who have little or no real experience in the running of  such a position.

    I say to those who enabled him to do what he did, you must  legally share the blame for what he did. Especially since you had to know of his addiction.  And similarly the question must be asked!  Was he the only one that reaped the benefits of his misdeeds? These questions must and should be followed up by our A.G. We cannot continue to see these glaring corruptive incidents continue on our Island and the enablers are never dealt with. Why after the Boatswain Beach  incident,  was he again placed in a similar position? Why was "that money" simply paid back without any repercussions? Why? Now you see what I mean about enabling?

    Addiction to anything is an awful sickness! And one [ if one has a heart] must feel  a kind of sadness  toward this individual. Not only toward him, but also his family whose hearts must be broken to see someone with so much potential ruin their life and career because of their addiction!   Some of us, will rejoice to see him get "as the saying goes" what he deserves. Yes that's true  that when one breaks the laws of the land they should pay the penalty. But "NO ONE" should rejoice! We can only hope that in the words of his defense attorney, he isa changed man!  I will hope that's the case. But only time will tell. The ball is at your feet now Joey!                                                              

    SO TAKE IT , RUN WITH IT AND SCORE THAT WINNING GOAL!

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Thank you for writing this post UHUHUH (not verified) on Fri, 04/04/2014 – 00:45. I couldn't agree with you more. I hardly know Joey but I am saddened to see a life with so much potential so destroyed. I am especially saddened to think of the impact all of this will have on his children. Those of you on here rejoicing and poking fun should be careful. Do any of you know what your loved ones might be doing in secret?

  25. Anonymous says:

    At last. An honest politician!!

     

  26. Anonymous says:

    Now for another "liar and thief" associate to similarly find Jesus (again) by the fall!

  27. Bleeding-Teeth says:



    I don't quite understand why a compensation cannot be made, this was decided on the basis that the guilty man does not have the money. Why can't he serve his time in jail, and be paid to pay the money back from a future job? What message is the Crown and Court sending? Do mischief, have a good time, serve time at Northward where you are well feed and cared for and when you are free, no need to repay what was stolen. Is that a good message for the Crown and Court to be sending? 

  28. Henry 111 says:

    I'm happy Joey confessed and save this country the expense. However my belief this is a cover up and a buy out to keep his mouth shut. A man who was ranting and calling some high names then profess and say he find God? I smell a rat. There were more than one involved.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Please go after the one who sold him the drugs and the one who pawned the iphones and ipads.  They need to pay for their sins too.  Time to clean up Cayman.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well I am assuming if the new squeaky clean super honest and clean Joey is a reality rather than sentencing ploy he will happily assist in naming his dealers and identifying everyone involved in assisting his criminality.

      • Anonymous says:

        The judge should ask him these details before sentencing him.  He should be sentenced on what he does not what he says.

  30. The Real Just Sayin' says:

    For penance they should put the recordings of The Joey Ebanks Show on a loop in his cell for all eternity. 

    "I'm not afraid…."

  31. Jingle says:

    Wasn't Joey one of the biggest supporters of the expat tax. Isn't it ironic that a man that claimed to want the best for the Caymanian people by getting the expats to finance everything for us, was at the same time stealing from the Caymanian people – how many more Joey's are out there I wonder! 

    • Anonymous says:

      The fact that he liked plantains over coconuts made me suspicious too! Never never underestimate these types! It makes you wonder how many out there like that! Lock your doors!

  32. sean says:

    so many people belived in Joey's conspiracy theory- thats the really sad end to this story

  33. Anonymous says:

    He gonna get his fix in Northward tonight, changed man my ass…
    I do respect him for changing his plea and not wasting the CI dollars on a case.

    • Anonymous says:

      Let's be realistic he only changed his plea to stop the house of cards come tumbling down.  He should be forced to name his associates, dealer, etc.  'Fess up or get the maximum sentence.

  34. Anonymous says:

    Why do these criminals all of a sudden find God when they never had God on their mind when they were committing the crime. I hope the judge does not use his so call finding of the Holy Father to give credit to any custodial sentence. IF he has truly found God, then God will be with him during his period of incarceration and will walk with him once he is out; but one should never defame God and use him when you have been caught red-handed. I am not a practicing Christian but I do believe in a supreme being (God) and believe that God exists.

  35. Anonymous says:

    my name is joey and i'm and addict, thief, liar………. and future mla……

    • Anonymous says:

      You should read the Constitution. Convicted liars and thieves and drug addicts are disqualified from running for office. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Not if he is sentenced to less than one year.

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, and who wrote the constitution? PPM administration back in 2009.

        I have read it and it's the most ridiculous thing you will ever encounter, laughable I tell ya'.

         

      • Anonymous says:

        That will narrow it down then.

  36. Anonymous says:

    Addiction is a vicious, merciless thing. It uses us up, makes us mad and then spits us back out once we are empty. Wishing you all the best Joey. I am sure that the next few months will be tough but you haven't backed down. Many people will be so happy at your freedom. I hope forgiveness and mercy can flow.

    Respect to Ben Tonner.

  37. Anonymous says:

    69 Iphones and 47 I-Pads by a 3rd party to a local Pawn Shop???

    Who ae they?

    Surey they might have thought the items were stolen?

    • Anonymous says:

      Closure of those stealing machines are long overdue.  Every since those pawn shops were allowed to open, stealing has become the norm.  Close them down. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Surely the pawn shop was on constructive notice of illegality and money laundering.

  38. james Pouchie says:

    It takes a real man to come clean so Kudos to you Joey!

  39. Anonymous says:

    I think there should be a public enquiry into the circumstances surrounding is appointment to the ERA after behaving in the exact same way at the Turtle Farm. It's like hiring an alcoholic to manage a liquor store. Who thought that was a good idea? Who interviewed him? Who selected him ahead of other candidates? If Joey's really found God and decided to admit everything then he should also tell us who got him the job and why.

  40. Anonymous says:

    It's nice to see someone take accountibility for once. 

    • Anonymous says:

      yep…. only after being caught, arrested and presented with a mountain of evidence….

      yep….thats caymanian accoutability for you……..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

      • Anonymous says:

        This type of thing happens everywhere else in the world…not only in Cayman.

        There are greedy people and corruption everywhere!

    • Anonymous says:

      For a self confessed "liar and thief"..he's a pretty honest guy.

  41. Anonymous says:

    Jail and pay back to the community what you stole.

    By the way, Joey, who supplied you with the cocaine ?

  42. Anonymous says:

    hahahahaha what else is new? you can fool some people sometime but you can't fool all the people all the time !  I have to give you props for finally coming clean and telling the truth though but you have betrayed alot of good people.   Now go up to the Queen's Palance and be a socialite for the other boys in blue.

  43. Anonymous says:

    nice chap – bad addiction.

  44. Anonymous says:

    We need to see a few more fries and a type of burger go down this same path…

    • Just a Simple Caymanian says:

      Why do you GLOT over some ones down fall, be carfull you could be one of them too . Never laugh at others misfortune . who ever you are

      • Anonymous says:

        You really must be Simple if you conclude this has anything to do with"misfortune"!

      • Anonymous says:

        How did you manage to spell misfortune correctly?

      • Anonymous says:

        He should've been paraded through the town on an extremely hot sunny day. 

      • Diogenes says:

        Misfortune?  Misfortune is when something happens to you that you have no control over.  When you decide to take drugs, then lie and steal to finance your habit, that is not misfortune, that is a direct consequence of your initial decision.  It seems Mr Ebanks has a better grasp of that then you do.  

  45. Anonymous says:

    So remind me again how was he appointed to that position?

    Restitution of the missing funds should come from whom so ever that may have been.

  46. Anonymous says:

    Honestly is the best way! Wasting the court time is not=a rocky road in jail!

  47. Anonymous says:

    Admitting what you have done and taking the consequences, is, in my view, to be admired, even though his actions prior to that were not to be admired. I hope he can recover from his addictions.

  48. Anonymous says:

    Proud of you Joey.  Recovery is not a destination it is a journey and to enjoy that journey you have to be honest with yourself and others.  If only some of the critics could do the same.

    • Anonymous says:

      13:22 Well said. It takes a man to admit to wrong and then to apologise. Which one of us have not sinned. Remember what the good book says about casting the first stone? It is so sad that he had an addiction, however with help he can get over it. I have gone to listen to preachers who confessed that they too had drug addictions. I vividly recall a well known Pastor just a few years back who admitted at the Lion Center that he too was involved in drugs and he went on to say that it is in every family in Cayman. Apparently his wife worked in the right place at the time to assist him with the drug smuggling. I was so shocked that night after hearing the public accusing them for years and I could not believe the rumours ,but when I heard him admit to it I held my head in awe. Sometimes God does certain things to us to change us. He is a good man so he  will change. My heart goes out to his family.