Police begin investigation into alleged Pines theft

| 17/05/2013

(CNS) Updated: The police have confirmed that they have finally received a report regarding the allegations of theft at the Pines Retirement Home in George Town. The home released a statement more than two weeks ago stating that the board had dismissed its manager, Sue Nicholson, and was working with KPMG to prepare a report for the authorities. However, it is understood that Nicholson is no longer on Grand Cayman and the police said learlier this week that no report had yet been made to them about the missing money. But on Friday morning an RCIPS spokesperson confirmed that a report had now been filled with the Financial Crimes Unit.

A police spokesperson said, “ A report on this matter has been received by the RCIPS Financial Crime Unit. Officers are awaiting an auditor’s report. It would be inappropriate to comment further at this time.”

On Friday a spokesperson for the Home said a preliminary written report had been given to the Financial Crimes Unit on 10 May but the RCIPS had agreed that The Pines would follow up with a full report once the KPMG forensic audit is concluded.

"The Pines is continuing to work with Maples and Calder to secure repayment of funds owing and we hope shortly to report that these efforts have been successful," the spokesperson added.

Nicholson’s husband  released a statement to Rotarians stating that his wife had resigned from the service club in the wake of her dismissal from the Pines and he was working with the home to ensure any missing money was returned.

John Nicholson said he was shocked over the accusations. “It is obviously a very difficult time for my family, but I intend to stand by my wife and if any funds have gone astray I will ensure that every cent is returned to The Pines,” he told the service club at a lunch earlier this month.

The Pines has not said how much cash was missing or under what circumstances but that the sums did not affect the operation of the home and directors were confident that the cash would be recovered.

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  1. 4 Cayman says:

    Thank God for CNS if it wasn't for Wendy and her team more than likely there would be no pressure for the truth or for those involved arrested. Well done Wendy. I'm still waiting to see when the Caymanian compass is going to publish the report XXXX

  2. Anonymous says:

    The Pines is a not-for profit organization that exists to provide quality care for our elderly.

    We depend on fee income from our residents, when they can afford it, and from Government when they cannot. We keep our fee income low through the generosity of our benefactors, large and small.

    Our board of directors, our treasurer and our book-keeper are all unpaid volunteers who give their time quietly and willingly. In the case of our treasurer and book- keeper the time donated is considerable.

    We are concerned that misunderstandings about the response from our board to the financial irregularities that have recently been uncovered may damage the reputation of The Pines to the detriment of our elderly residents.

    We are not a secretive organization and believe in transparency and honesty. This posting seeks to address the inaccuracies and misunderstandings in the comments posted on this website and gives such information as we feel comfortable will not prejudice any criminal prosecution.  Our board has certainly not sought to protect our former Manager. Indeed , as a Board we feel betrayed and angry that  financial irregularities may prejudice our future fund raising abilities and support in the community.   For that reason, we are determined that all missing funds are recovered, that we provide all possible assistance to the police and that we disclose what has occurred to the extent possible.

    This is what we are able to say at this stage:

    1. Apparent financial irregularities were noticed last month when our former Manager was on leave in the UK at which point we immediately engaged a forensic accountant;
    1. The irregularities initially uncovered were queried in email exchanges with the former Manager. We were not satisfied with her answers;
    1. An emergency board meetingwas convened on 17th April, at which it was decided to terminate the former Manager, take all steps to recover the missing funds, continue with the forensic investigation and produce a report for the police Any suggestion of a “cover-up” is unfounded;
    1. The former Manager was terminated on 17th April;
    1. The advice we received from our forensic accountants was that the usual protocol was to file a formal complaint with the Financial Crimes Unit of the Police on the conclusion of the forensic investigation with evidence from that investigation accompanying that complaint ;
    1. Although our forensic accountants have been working continuously on their review since the first irregularities came to light their review is still ongoing. This involves a review of many transactions over a number of years. We  determined not to wait until the conclusion of the review to contact the Police. Accordingly,  the Police were contacted by us on 10th May and sent a preliminary written  report  on the same day. This was a week before the CNS article appeared. The inference that the police were contacted as a result of this website is incorrect;
    1. It will be for the Police and not the Board of The Pines to determine whether to proceed with a criminal prosecution and, if necessary, extradition. We will provide the Police with whatever assistance they require.;
    1. It is for the Board of The Pines, however, to seek recovery of  any missing sums and this we are doing as a priority. We are confident that we can do so without litigating but are prepared to do so if necessary.  We do not have a final figure as our forensic review is still continuing .  Suffice it to say the sums identified so far are material and the final figure will be disclosed when available;
    1. To address the conflict of interest allegations, I can confirm that I retired as a partner of Maples and Calder in 2009.  Maples’ role is to ensure that we recover the sums identified asmissing.  There is no conflict in their performance of that role and my position as a retired partner of that firm.  Maples have also generously agreed to undertake their work on a pro-bono basis, thus saving us many thousands of dollars of legal fees. Similarly our former Manager’s husband was employed by KPMG until 1990. To suggest that an organization of KPMG’s standing would improperly undertake a forensic review to protect the spouse of an employee who left 23 years ago is, quite simply, silly. Again, we are indebted to KPMG for undertaking considerable forensic work on our behalf, again entirely pro-bono, saving us many tens of thousands of dollars;
    1.  We have asked KPMG to provide us with assistance in updating our financial controls and protocols to protect us better  going forward;
    1. We do hope The Pines will continue to enjoy the support of the local community;
    1. We will issue additional press releases as and when we are able to release further information.

    Julian Reddyhough

    Chairman, The Pines.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Yes mistakes were made. There should have been tighter constraints put on a trusted employee. I would suggest that all of the doubters and haters take a moment to reflect that all of the people on the board are there voluntarily. There is no compensation. When you look in the mirror can you say that you make any such effort.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The Board did know there was a problem, or some of them did.  But they chose the wrong side to listen to or ignored the information in front of them.  They have to stand down.  Extradiction won't be an option, she's living in a country that does have an agreement.  Someone needs to ask the staff about the bullying and lack of care for the patients. 

  5. The anonymous Mr Whitacre says:

    Oh but his lady was living large! Those in Government who ignored this situation need to be sacked plain and simple. But alas paper work will now disappear  and no one will be held accountable or responsible for not looking into this matter properly. Thats how it works in our Gowerment nah true???

  6. Anonymous says:

     OKAY let's follow closely and see how the " RIch or Socialite " is treated in this instance 

    • Active Rotarian says:

      I have read the article and all the responses some of which are rather asinine to say the least. I have also donated monies over the years to The Pines as has Rotary who over the past thirty years or so have donated money and spent countless hours painting the home. I know I was a painter, not good but at least I made the effort. Please therefore will people not criticize Rotary. Susan has not been found guilty of any offense but should that happen there may be extenuating circumstances. We are not to know. It is of course solely the preoperative of the RCIP to decide whether to prosecute. Susans’s husband is naturally supporting his wife and has agreed to repay any missing funds. These are usual circumstances so please have a degree of sympathy for all concerned.

      Without Rotary, the Lions, Kiwanis and many other service providers, where would we be.
      Forget Rich and Socialite, that is inappropriate and out of context.

      • Anonymous says:

        It is for the RCIPS to investigate, but only the DPP can decide whether to prosecute.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Two “upstanding” Rotarians under suspicion of theft (the other one actually charged , I believe) in recent times!! They need to be more vigilant in who they accept as member s, don’t ya think?

    • Anonymous says:

      Regrettably Rotary and many other organizations in Cayman have been infiltrated by rogues. From the church to the ranks of attorneys and even doctors it is absolutely disgusting what has happened. I was so sickened by having to watch known criminals recount the 4 way test with a smug expression on their faces That I lost my appetite for rotary and could no longer participate. It is such a shame.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Financial Crimes, repsosibility?

    What are the names of the Board of Directors? What is the role of the Board of Directors? Who was she accountable to. Were the books audited at the Pines on an annual basis? Would financial irrugularities come to light if this incident hadn't occurred? Was anyone paying attention to the finances of the Pines?

    Her husband is saying whatever is missing will be paid back as if he anticipates funds being misssing. XXX If she has stolen funds, the government should not allow missing funds to be returned, but should prosecute and then demand funds are returned in addition to the sentences she has worked so hard to earn.

    Is this how Boards operate. Did they not ask for audited accounts annually? XXXX

    Are there other departments of Government or non-governmental organisations recieving cash that should be audited by government where 1 person can commit this type of crime unnoticed for years? 



  9. Anonymous says:

    Seems like the news was released in time to ensure she would not return.

  10. Anonymous says:

    So here's what happennded to us.  We have a family member at the Pines and last year when they were moving them from the old building to the new building our relative was moved unknown to us.  When we visited and enquired as to why they had been given such a small cramped up space, we were told that our payments were not enough for them to have a larger space and that in fact we needed to make additional payments.

    Government is who pay 75% of our relative's costs and between the family the additional fees are paid.  We were asked to meet with Sue by Sue but she never showed-up as we told her we wanted an itemised list of all the meds and daily care administered to our relative.  To date I do not belive she's ever contacted any of us.

    Sue also has her own Home Care Givers working for the Pines XXXX.

    To the powers that be, you need to review Sue's invoices to the Pines XXXX.


    • Anonymous says:

      Also review the manner in which families are treated when they are behind on payments. 

  11. Anonymous says:

    This island sucks as far as honesty and responsibility go. Just sucks!

  12. Anonymous says:

    It is remarkable to read some of the hater posts. The many people who donate their time and money to assist the pines should be applauded.  Certainly there should have been a more thorough addit done on a yearly basis. XXXX The money will returned to the Pines

  13. Admiral's Dodo Bird says:

    Queries about how the Pines spent government's monies go back from 2010 yet  nothing was done. Not surprise though person in charge simply not capable and besides isn't that how  government works spend don't ask questions? XXXX

    • Caymanian by status and VOTING says:

      Hear Hear, the Board is responsible and they sat back and did nothing.  

      Since many members of the public happliy donate to our beloved elderly, we should have an annual report published in the newpaper.  (So should ALL charities!) We need to stamp out corruption at every level.  This includes charging 8,000 for a "red carpet" for a fundraiser and giving the money to your "cousin" for decorations.

      The idea of the "registered chairty law" seemed too complicated in 2010, but whoever gets in needs to start policing these people with our donations.

      The BOARDS need to be accountable.  THEY let the fox into the henhouse.

      • Anonymous says:

        Remember this is not one of your politically appointed well paid board jobs..

        these board members are from the private sector giving freely of their time to this most unglamorous of tasks…be less critical until you know the facts.

        • Anonymous says:

          Do know the facts, and some of these board members should be ashamed of their oversight of the organization.  The last audit was when?

    • Caymanian VOTING says:

      I SMELL a RAT!  

      Puh-Lease….RCIP Finanical Crimes you must see the forest for the trees?  Let's spell this out for you (and CNS take note and thank you for keeping the pressure on!)

      Johnathan Nicholson used to WORK for KPMG – and they are now the assigned auditors to investigate?

      Julain Reddyhough, The Chairman of The Pines, is a Managing Partner at Maples who is advising on the legal?


      RCIP- there is NO credibility where there is conflict of interest, period.


      • Anonymous says:

        Julian is no longer with Maples.

      • Anonymous says:

        This has to be the stupidest post I’ve ever read. And the fact that it got 27 approvals is a reflection of nothing other than the pig ignorance of those who gave them.

  14. Raffaelle says:

    This matter  will go just like the questions which were asked during a 2011 review by Gov't of the monies government provides to the Pines to pay for persons who couldn't pay and the senior official in the ministry in charge dismissed them as nothing or complaining by the department that was doling out the money, Thereby not following up or demanding to see their books. Oh but somebody needs to take a down payment on a brain for some of these chief officers incharge of our Government?? As for a report  the double standards that exist on this island are so blantant you can cut it with a chainsaw. But i will say this how can anyone steal from a charity that must be the lowest of lowest form of theft.  Pay attention Cayman and they see who are being charged and convicted and sent to prison for lesser crimes….. 

    • Anonymous!!!!! !! says:

      "This matter will pass"

      Well, well well, it took this long for the police to get on to their investigation, only after it was brought up on CNS. I dare say here today that if that had been a born Caymanian and not the paper one, it would have been brought up earlier.    Look at all the crimes that have neen commited by expats and we hear nothing about it, or if they do get charged it rarely makes head lines.

      I think I will sell my Caymanian birthright and buy a foreign one. See how much better it is to live here.At least I will be guaranteed a job.

      • Anonymous says:

        Ridiculous and racist comment. Thoroughly unnecessary.

        The implication that race or nationality makes a difference here undermines your trust in our caymanian police officers.

        Having a caymanian passport I feel AT AN ADVANTAGE to foreigners of equal qualification and ability as no work permit fee will be incurred upon my employment. Only those less qualified or able will have a better foreigner chosen above their application.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Hey Pines, as a donor, some of that was my money before it was yours. If I thought someone had taken it from me I would report it to the police. If you do not value it as much as I, I will keep it for myself in future. I am astounded you would be so stupid and callous to have waited until she had left Cayman before announcing anything.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you may find that the reason they found outwas because she left Cayman and someone else noticed irregularities. Before jumping to conclusions about the way this has been handled by the Pines it maybe good to wait and find out how they have responded.

      • SSM345 says:

        I know how they found out.

        You are correct that Sue went overseas, it was for her daughters wedding in fact, and the deputy manager was put in charge.

        One day a Jamaican fellow who is the "handy man" at the Pines walked up to said deputy to give $500 (cash) for his rent, as he was living in one of the rooms, the alarm bells rang and the digging then commenced when they discovered there was no record or trace of previous payments he had made ……true story.

  16. Anonymous says:

    If it was a Caymanian, especially a poor one, they would have been charged already!

    • Anonymous says:

      Doubt it. Doesn’t happen. Dream on.

    • Diogenes says:

      Like all those other examples of Caymanians entrusted with public funds misappropriating them and being sent to jail  …oh, wait….


    • Anonymous says:

      You can't really believe that.  There are many thefts by Caymanians that have gone unprosecuted over the years as they are all somehow connected to someone in power or at immigration.  Also if you look at sentences of foreignors vs Caymanians you will also see a disparity with one judge actually commenting during sentencing that the behavior of a foreignor must be better than locals when living in a foreign coutnry….a crime shoud be a crime regardless of who commits it. 

      • Anonymous says:

        No – outsiders coming here to commit crimes is more offensive. Equally bad – but nevertheless, an entirely legitimate grounds for the fact that it is an outsider to be commented on. Remember, the outsider will also have comitted immigration offences if they pbreak the law while here, something a local will not have done.   

  17. Anonymous says:

    Paying the money back to the Turtle Farm was good enough to absolve Joey and leaving the island cleaned the slate for Syad so doing both should be double clean for Sue.

  18. harsh reality says:

    The RCIP's cant go and arrest her because of a news paper article. What should have happened here is the board should have filed a report immediately, she would have then been arrested on suspicion and bailed to return while investigations continued. Then maybe, Maybe, MAYbe, MAYBE the phantom Attorney General and the Director of Public prosecutions would have requested the courts to confiscate her passports. Oh but we never see or hear anything from these too HIGHLY PAID Government officials. But they only care about looking away young Caymanian men. Even in the United States those to positions are elected, but not here, they can just sit around on their buts and watch the RCIP take the heat for everything. People dont forget who is "The highest legal authority" in the Cayman Islands – It certainly isnt Commissioner Baines. At least Baines tries to arrest criminals at all levels unlike the complacent Attorney general and his minions who have had a long standing dismal performance to say the least! He keeps his mouth closed to stay off the publics radar and so far he's done a great job of not picking up any scrutiny. Why is it Government spends MILLIONS of dollars on Legal advice when the have such a big shot on their side? What exactly does he do? What exactly is his purpose?

    • Anonymous says:

      The Phantom is useless. Furthermorr he is too worried about the possiblity of Mac being convicted to do the job he is being overpaid to do.

  19. Anonymous says:

    The Pines will never know the full extent of the theft!  What is concerning is that they released the announcement before she returned to the Islands.  Why on earth would they not provide the police with the information first before announcing it to the world and allow her to be arrested and then questioned and dealt with appropriately on her return. She will probably never return. The Board probably doesnt want to face the repercussions of full disclosure as to the full sums but it is still the right thing to do and hoped her husband would pay the money back.   In the meanwhile her husband is 'standing behind her' but will merely be assisting in keeping her at bay and away from facing her responsibility.  that is wrong too and what a shame he doesnt own up to that. Given the vast sums of money stolen it is hard to understand how he did not know but we will have to give him the benefit of the doubt. No doubt Rotary will say they are a little sad and 'disappointed' (they were both in the same Rotary Club) but ….. thats about it!  It is not just sad and disappointing but an outrage.  Its time that society start to react accordingly including expats and locals alike and do the right thing for everyone.

  20. Anonymous says:

    There will be no report. This is how law operates in the stratosphere.

    • Anonymous says:

      So much for that prediction, Nostradamus.

      • Anonymous says:

        they had no choice after CNS outed them.  No doubt they thought husband would give them the money back and they wouldnt have to go public.

        • Caymanian VOTING says:

          Thank you CNS for being the voice of reason.  Name & Shame this Board and others.  Do not let up.  Where there is smoke, there is fire.


          • SSM345 says:

            From the Pines website:

            Executive Board Members

            Julian Reddyhough (Chairman)
            Colin Shaw (Vice Chairman)
            Evan Burtton ( Treasurer)

            Non-Executive Board Members

            Dr Kumar
            Dawn Rankine
            Gary Wilkins
            Olive Miller
            Rev. Tara Tyme
            Pam de Lisser

    • SSM345 says:

      They need to look beyond the Pines.

  21. Caymanian Voter says:

    This is outrageous and the Board should be sacked!!!
    Where is the Auditor General ? They’re not be a public retirement home, but 90% of the residents fees come from Government!!!

    Next the AG will ignore funds going to a brothel?
    Where is the accountability?
    We will not stand for this!

    • Anonymous says:

      What a stupid effin comment. Totally unhelpful.

    • Annie get your gun says:

      Don't 'Jump the gun' here. 

      The FIRST thing to do is conduct a thorough Forensic Audit, which cannot be done over-night.

      Only then will the full extent of any irregularities (if there truly are any) be known, and then that information can be passed along to the authorities IF warranted.

      Assumptions and ill-compiled evidence will only lead to another costly and failed investigation by our incompitent RCIPS.  

      • Anonymous says:

        What rubbish! Why would you not provide evidence of theft at your soonest, have her arrested and bailed and then ensure that she couldnt leave the Island.  During that time you would have her charged and add additional charges for the full sums stolen.  To sit there and wait a month or two for a full audit and then go to the police would just plain stupid!  Which is what the board did.  Now that to that stupidity we will probably never see her again. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Really anne Do you think cash collected or not collected would ever be on the books

      • Caymanian VOTING says:

        Dear Jump the gun:  Fine…  Let PWC or BDO do the audit, not Jonathan Nicholson's former firm of KPMG?  What a conflict of interest!!!

        And Reddyhough the Pines "Chairman" says Maples is looking into legal?  HE is a Managing Director at Maples? 

        Foxes in the henhouse covering for cronies is what is sounds like to me.  The Board was sleeping XXXX and now want to come off as surprised?  Not with our donations.  The Board should be liable too.  You cannot have overseas and non-existant Board members that only meet for ribbon cuttings.  

        AG?  Where are you?  Step up or give back your salary.

        Corruption ends now.  Whistelblowers unite.  (Thank you CNS)

  22. Anonymous says:

    In Cayman, the rich have often arranged for their family members to pay back the missing money so that charges would never be made and the dishonest individual would never have to see the inside of a court room or have an official record.  Typical behaviour of the rich in our society.

    How the poor person is treated is very different.  They most certainly face trial, as anyone accused of a crime should.

    As a Caymanian, I'm disguested that she was allowed to leave the island under these circumstances. While it is very kind of her hunband to stand by her and ensure any missing funds will be repaid, it is not enough.  If money is missing and no charges are officiall made to the police and she avoids court and punishment XXXX.  "Helping" her out of her current trouble does not really help her or anyone else.  XXXX  But by no means should she have been allow to leave this island.

    The way Cayman deals with expats accured of theft is DISGUSTING.  Look at what happed at the UCCI years ago.  How is this different from what is happending at the Pines now?  How long was this going on and how much money is missing?

    This whole thing is a disgrace but typical.

    • Anonymous says:

      "The way Cayman deals with expats accured (sic) of theft is disgusting". You may be correct. But are you old enough to remember the embezzlement of about $70,000 from a local bank by a Boddent Town woman employed by the bank many years ago which she admitted was to fund her fancy lifestyle with a man when one of the then MLAs for Bodden Town went into court and said she was a wonderful Christian woman blah blah blah? Stop with the expat bashing. I have a list of the Caymanian fraudsters (including the "lady" I mention above) over the last 30 years. Alas, CNS will not publish the names. And, by the way, because of MLA and Church testimony on their behalf, some of these Caymanian fraudsters received minimal sentences.

      • Anonymous says:

        It doesn't matter who it is, a thief is a thief, whether it is big or small.  Deal with dishonesty, which I hope will be netted out in the not too distant future, to the high official of these disgraced islands.  If  you steal, you are a thief and if you lie, you are a liar.

    • Anonymous says:

      I wonder how this would have been different if this was a local? Hmmm… oh yeah, never mind.

    • Anonymous says:

      …Just FYI…she was already off Island when the matter came to light, so she was not  "…allowed to leave…".. she was already gone.

      • SSM345 says:

        And she is in the UK, which makes it a fairly simple process to have her extradicted back to Cayman.

        Perhaps we can do a swap, we will send them Mac if they give us Sue?

  23. Anonymous says:

    John Nicholson will make sure every cent is returned? That implies cent(s) was taken.


    Is there a threshold at the Pines for reporting a crime? For example, if it is over $10, but under $500, then it is a crime, but we will not report it. However, if it is over $500 it is a crime and we will report it

  24. Anonymous says:

    i hope this is thoroughly investigated by the RCIPS. Most of the occupants of the pines are funded by government, therefore the alleged actions amount to theft of public funds.  i hope that association and socaial backfground has nothing to do with why things are so quiet. Justice must be applied equally.

    I look forward to hearing from the Pines who in the past obtained much financial support from the public as to whether they have made a formal complaint to the rcips for criminal investigation. restitution of funds by other persons is not sufficient.