Suspect’s husband pays back cash to retirement home

| 19/12/2013

(CNS): The husband of the former manager of the Pines has paid back an undisclosed sum to the not-for-profit retirement home. Officials said they had received a full reimbursement of the sum identified by its forensic investigation into the cash which went missing during Sue Nicholson’s tenure. Julian Reddyhough, the chairman of the home’s board, said that interest had also been paid on the funds. However, the payments, which were made by John Nicholson, were revealed to have been handed over without any admission of wrongdoing and without any assistance from Sue Nicholson, who was sacked following the discovery of the missing cash.

Reddyhough said that the Pines was co-operating fully with the investigation by the RCIPS Financial Crimes Unit, which began earlier this year, and it was as a result of this enquiry that the home was not revealing the details of the alleged fraud or the figure involved.

“As we do not wish to prejudice this ongoing investigation or any subsequent criminal trial we have not at this stage released details of what has occurred or of the total involved, save to say that the total sum is a material figure,” Reddyhough said in a statement released to the press Friday.

The revelation that the former boss of the home was dismissed came in May this year after the alleged fraud was discovered. She then left the island under a cloud of suspicion. The police confirmed that they had received a report regarding allegations of theft some time later but were waiting on an auditor’s report.

In July the investigation was stalled as the RCIPS said they were still waiting for the Pines to reveal the details of a theft and waiting for the officials at the home to make a statement.

During this time there had been concerns raised in the community that the issue was being swept under the carpet. This was denied by the board, which issued a statement indicating that they were angry and dismayed at the fraud.

Following the statement released by the home today, CNS asked the RCIPS for an update and they confirmed that the enquiry continues. The RCIPS also confirmed that Sue Nicholson hasnever been arrested or spoken to by the police as she remains outside the jurisdiction.

Nevertheless, a spokesperson said the investigation goes on and this would not cease because the money was paid back.

"That request will have to be made by the complainant to the court due to the large sum involved," the police stated, adding that at this point the RCIPS could not reveal any more information because it is a live investigation.

In his statement Reddyhough said it had taken many months of hard work by the forensic accountants, KPMG, and their former senior partner, Theo Bullmore, to reach the point where they had been able to recover all of the missing money.

“As part of this forensic exercise the books and records of The Pines have been painstakingly reviewed going back over the last eight years.  This task has been made more difficult and time consuming than need have been the case as no information or assistance has been volunteered by Mrs Nicholson,” the chairman stated. “We are very fortunate that our professional assistance from KMPG and from Maples and Calder has been donated free of charge. This means that The Pines has been made whole without incurring any expenditure.” 

Nevertheless, he pointed to the considerable burden placed on the volunteer board, administrative staff and on its professional advisers.

“We have instituted anti-fraud training for our administrative staff and KPMG has undertaken to offer periodic spot audits,” Reddyhough explained. “We have also updated our operational procedures in line with recommendations received from KPMG. We believe that these steps will minimize as far as practicable the chances of this type of event recurring. It is regrettable that a charity is forced to take these steps and, of course, no steps can provide 100% security against a person who is sufficiently motivated or cunning,” he added, giving the only hint of the alleged crime.

“Finally, we have been heartened by the continued support for The Pines demonstrated by the local community and by our benefactors,” he said, as he thanked them all.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    It should be noted that Mrs. Nicholson has not fled to "hide" in the UK. She is currently there for many reasons: 1) she was fired while in the UK for her eldest daughter's wedding 2) her middle daughter has also got engaged recently – why on Earth would Mrs. Nicholson return to Cayman? To have no job? To face all of this abuse? Mrs. Nicholson has chosen to stay where she can help her daughter plan her wedding – can you really blame her? It is very easy to say she should come back to prove her innocence, but that is not always straight forward. Perhaps some of you need to be reminded that this is someone's mother and wife that you are talking about. The truth will come out eventually, so until then, maybe it's time to back off?

  2. Anonymous says:

    When will this country ever learn? Never trust no one until they prove themselves! Bring in the finger printing system!!! Wp

  3. Admirals Dodo Bryd says:

    People who steal from these types of organisations need to go to jail plain and simple Those officials in government who were warned and were told about this situation prior to it happening also need to be held responsible and accountable. Infact when this matter was raised or questioned and brought to their attention they dismissed and labelled the person as being miserable is both a disgrace and idiotic  to say the least.

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree that people who are convicted of stealing from charitable organizations should go to jail.

      In this case no one has even been charged let alone convicted.  At this point if you want to put the blame somewhere blame those who have not brought charges.

      Until she is charged she has no reason or compulsion to return.  if charges are brought then it becomes a totally different story.

      • Anonymous says:

        LOL. Didn't she have a job at the Pines? Are you trying to pretend that this is normal behaviour? The obvious reason to return would be to clear her name if in fact she is innocent. If she is not interested in doing that even though her husband (who has paid back the money) is here then the inference is obvious.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Bring in the finger printing system & have it network! Bracka

  5. Anonymous says:

    The police say it's a 'live' investigation. That's a joke. The only thing 'live' at the police station is the flow of our tax dollars into their pay packets.

  6. Anonymous says:

    The worst crime at the Pines is the old people left there by their younger relatives who refuse to pay their bills and leave Government and charities to do it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Pure deflection. That has nothing to do with this issue.

    • Anonymous says:

      Despicable as it is, that is not a crime. I'm not sure why you brought it up here except as a distraction from the issue.   

  7. Jacky Boatside from Oldbush says:

    Different strokes for different folks some are so lucky eh? had it been a local the out come we all know would be totally different or their options and judgement would be narrowed down to our local prison. Yes Cayman look and understand exactly what is going on around and to a people just another day in this paradise for some an a hypocrisy and injustice for the rest of us.

  8. Right ya so says:

    hmph! Just because he has paid back the money that they have found to be missing doesn't mean that all of the money/goods etc has been paid back! Shame on anyone for taking from those are already in need. Not to mention that treatment of the staff under her during her tenure. She AND her family should hang their heads  in shame. 

    • Richard Wadd says:

      The most honorable of men once said, "Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone".

      John Nicholson never shied away from this matter, he not only stood beside his wife (not behind her) and faced the spotlight, but he also willingly and proactively "did the right and honourable thing".

       Shame on you, a COWARD who hides behind Anominity, for condemning a man who displayed such honour and courage. 

      • Anonymous says:

        Nicholson has indeed done the right thing, so far. Now, whose house is his wife living in in the UK?

      • Anonymous says:

        Did he accompany her on a flight to Cayman to explain herself to the authorities?  No?  Well shut up then.  Because that is the "right and honourable" thing to do.  The innocent do not flee in my experience.

      • Right ya so says:

        Clearly you have no idea of that which you speak!

      • Anonymous says:

        If he is so honourable then he should insist that his wife return and face a proper investigation. 


      • Richard the Lion Hearted says:

        Mr. Please don't quote verses from the good book just because it's convenient! The most Honorable of men also said "Thou Shall Not Steal"  

        I can understand Mr. Nicholson wanting to protect his wife, but to pay back money which was reportedly stolen does not seem like anything other than admitting guilt. If she did not steal the money then the"HONORABLE" thing would have been to stand behind her and fight to the end to save her reputation, cost it what it will!  Because now, if she's never proven innocent in a court of law, she will forever have the stigma of being a thief on her name.

        And  this begs another question! How was it possible to accept money from the husband without fully knowing exactly how much was stolen, or unaccounted for? After all this institution depends on the public to a greater extent for their operating funds. Therefore "THEY" [those whorun the Home] owe it to all of us who contribute funds for the daily operations of this institution, at a minimum exactly what happened and how was it possible to accept repayment before the investigation was complete.

        These are the things that I love about Cayman! [not serious of course]                                            To see how people can come here and, [obviously without any background check] and  get moved into responsible jobs dealing with finances seemingly without accountability, and  they are seemingly never questioned  about "what should have been some obvious red flags leading up to the point of discovery"  by anyone working alongside her.

        I say! Continue the investigation and bring her back to face trial!A Caymanian would have been thrown to the Lions!

        By the way Mr. Wadd! It seems to me that the only "COWARD" in the story is the one who ran away!

    • Anonymous says:

      If there were any profits made from taking the monies improperly these would need to be paid back too.  For example if the monies were paid to fund a property or pension then the captial growth must be returned.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Serious question: what can be done to bring someone back from the UK to face charges? Whatever can be done, should be done, doesn't matter what the crime is. 

  10. 4Cayman says:

    Mr. Baines, mr. Premier and the board of the pines we want justice. Paying back the funds does not make the crime right!

    • Anonymous says:
      I agree with your comment 100%.  What about the salary of the Manager’s domestic helper which was allegedly paid for by the Pines for a number of years has that been re-paid also? Or is that a rumor that isn’t true…..perhaps worth investigating anyway just in case. 
  11. Surprised resident says:

    So crime pays after all.  

    Why did the home agree to accept money "without any admission of wrong doing"?  

    Who gave the legal advice that this was correct?   No money should have changed hands until charges were brought by the prosecutor.  

    In most countries any persons convicted of embezzlement are subject to a penalty e.g. double the amount stolen as well as jail time, so this is premature.  

    What due diligence was done on the source of funds used to pay the Pines?  

    • Anonymous says:

      The gist of this is that a gift horse should have been looked in the mouth because the poster learned law from watching TV while drunk.

    • Anonymous says:

      The money being paid back makes no difference whatsoever to culpability for the crime. If she re-enters this jurisdiction she can still be arrested and charged. I'm glad it has been repaid since there is slim chance of her being extradited.     

      • Anonymous says:

        Why is there a "slim chance" of her being extradited? The fact that her husband has paid back the missing money,  thereby acknowledging that she removed it and the fact that she has fled the jurisdiction to avoid charges would probably, on their own, persuade a UK Court to issue an extradition order.

        Or is it that the DPP is unlikely to apply for an extradition order that is the issue?

    • Anonymous says:

      Why shouldn't they accept it on those terms? Theyget the money back immediately and "without any admission of wrong doing" doesn't mean "agreeing not to press charges". The DPP can still bring charges, but good luck since Sue is over in the UK and I doubt she will return voluntarily. I think she should be extradited and I think she should be prosecuted and I think she should carry out whatever sentence she gets if she is found guilty (whether that is a jail, fine or other restitution). But I don't think the Pines was in any way wrong for accepting the money on these terms.

      Also, in terms of due diligence, her husband clearly has more than enough money that he earned legally to pay back whatever she may have stolen.

    • Anonymous says:

      Seriously…. whoever gave this comment thumbs down SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF THEMSELVES! Only a moron wouldnt' agree with this!!….

      It is not as if this is hear say, it is a fact that the funds are missing.  A person is innocent until proven guilty  and if she know that she has done no wrong, why is she not back here fighting to prove that she is innocent? It should be simple if she did her job properly her name would be cleared surely.

      Why on earth would her husband pay back the alledged amount?!  The TIME is always RIGHT to DO what is RIGHT. Surprised Resident you are spot on! The home should never have taken back those funds with no admission of wrong doing.  

      This leads one to ponder if someone on that board could possibly be covering something up and why? Surely the BOD cannot think it is right to just accept money back and let it slide.

      This is the reason why many are wary of donating funds to non profit organisations, which is very sad…. as much good is done by organisations such as these.

      • Anonymous says:

        Actually, if you want to be technical, a person is guilty the moment they break the law. They are entitled to a lawful presumption of innocence before the courts. That does not necessarily mean they are innocent (or indeed guilty). It would however help that they be here to protest their innocence.

        • Anonymous says:

          Absolutely. "Innocent until proven guilty" has been hijacked out of proportion by modern media.  It is a very narrow and technical presumption and nothing else.

  12. michel says:

    And a wrong and a right don’ mahe a right, Right ?

  13. Anonymous says:

    Was this a "pink" collar crime?

  14. Anonymous says:

    CNS thank you for publishing Sue Nicholson's photo.  The world needs to know who she is and what she is running from.

    Sue, keep running. May life, Karma, and/or God repay you, as you appear to be above the law.

    From the family of the woman who received two black eyes while at the Pines, which was under your "management".  


  15. Caymanian Pines Supporter upset says:

    The Pines Board has still been way too quiet. and completely remiss in their duties.This happened under their watch, period.  Their arrogance over being duped is no excuse.  The reason this happened is that Reddyhough and the Board have been non-acting for almost a decade.  If this was a real business, the executives would have been sacked.

    The Pines has not had an AGM (Annual General Meeting) for the public in years!! WHY? HOW does the Board continue?  (Oh, they just vote themselves back in?  HUH?) and WHERE are the audited books?  KPMG helped them to uncover the amount of stolen funds, but the ignorance of the Board was the cause and we are letting these people off just as much as Miss Sue.

    The public should be outraged that the Board let this happen under their watch and we STILL have the SAME Board of Directors, WHY?  Is this a not-for-profit chairty or not? I suspect not and want to know which politician will be taking this matter up?  

    This is my public purse and still no valid story.  Pines Chairman Reddyhough should step down.  Something still smells rotten and we are still kept in the dark.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Seems that charities (churches included) enjoy a level of immunity above the rest of us when it comes to criminal investigation into their finances. Highly likely the so called investigation will fade into the gray and the sad truth will stay secret.

    • Anonymous says:

      Screw the churches. They are money making machines designed to keep gullible  souls in line. They preach about a miracle working messiah andthe only miracle they can perform is to make 10% of your paycheck magically disappear. Yeah baby, did you feel it?

  17. Anonymously says:

    Well done this is the people who shine in the community and are those key employee. Cayman is one big joke andis on the last rung of the third world ladder.  This is exactly why crime is becoming so rampant in a society that administers two types of justice slap on the wrist for one group and hard time for the next. 

  18. Foreign Devil says:

    Sue, what did you do?!

    • Anonymous says:

      Sue was an exemplary employee she did a good job, was never late, did not abuse sick days, she was not one of those who felt entitled.  She was a key employee in every way, there is always three sides to every story. We know the Pines side, there is Sue's side and the truth.  We need to know the truth before continuously besmirching the good name of her family.

      • Anonymous says:

        Her good name???!!!

        What are you smoking" Some of that "nearly legal pot?"

        Yes there are three sides to every story, BUT Sue Nicholson high tailed out of here,  and will not come back to clear the matter up.  If that is not an admission of guilt, what in the hell is?  Being on time and not abuseing sick days are only two aspect of a good employee.  I know gardeners who do the same but will also chop down every tree in your yard and "teef off" your gardening equipment.  

        What about honesty, integrity, responsibility, accountabilty, leadership, inspiring, dedicated beyond the call of duty…not to mention kindness and caring for the elderly? Couldn't help but notice they were missing from your description of her.

        I remember meeting this woman many years ago in a social setting and later in a professional setting.  I'd call her many things, but "Key employee" is not one of them. 

        • Get Your Facts Straight says:

          To correct the statement that she "high tailed it out of here" which I have seen in similar form in other posts – the fact is that Mr. & Mrs. Nicholson were in the UK for a long-planned wedding of one of their daughters.  It is whilst they were there in England that they received a phone call from the Pines that initiated this matter.  So, whilst it is true that she has not returned to Cayman, it is not correct to imply that she fled the jurisdiction after being confronted by her employers.

      • Anonymous says:

        Good she didn't feel entitled…all the other good stuff was "possibly" her MO! Food for thought…

        Exemplary employee, she did a good job, was never late, did not abuse sick days. Possibly would havebeen why she make sure she topped all the things you listed…so to throw people off.   You obviously feel she could not possibly have done it due to her great work ethics as far as you could see.

        Another thing…if she was sick or late often, possibly someone would have to handle work she covered, and would then uncover that funds were being embezzeled. 

        Any BOD worth their salt would made random checks….if employees are doing what is right…they shouldnt have an issue with you checking things out. Never rule out managers or whatever her title wasjust because she did was exemplary. Often times beneath the glitter, there is deceit and trickery. However as you said there are 3 sides to a story and…. a person is innocent until proven guilty. 

        I do wonder why she not come back to defend her character…..In my opinion that is what any innocent person would usually do. There is the saying… "Worry about your character not your reputation…Your character is who you are… AND… your reputation is who people think you are"…

        In this case the traits you pointed out could have very well be true but let us say in this instance…was possibly her reputation…  And is who you and some others that know of her work think she really is…BUT it is not sure to be her character….Then again it could be who she really was and something changed….She would still be held responsible for poor judgement…

        I am not besmirching the good name of her family….AND again I fully agree innocent until proven guilty….However, if she has really done this…her family should not be frowned upon, unless they were involved.

        Naturally they would be very saddened and feel ashamed…but it would be her poor choice…They should not be held responsible for that.  She is an adult she would have known exactly what she was doing.

        Further more they would not be the first or last family that something like this has happend to… (if she really comitted the crime). I have to tell you though something stinks….and I hope it is uncovered and the person brought to justice…

        When we do wrong we must be punished….no matter the reason…. What is good for the goose is good for the gander….This is why this type of behaviour is prevalent in Cayman…too much double standards….

        Pines BOD please do what is right …do not let this be swept under the carpet……Justice must not only be done…it must be seen to be done…






      • Anonymous says:

        Then Sue should come back to these Islands and tell her side of the story instead of hiding out in the UK. It speaks volumes that she hasn't and that her husband has paid the money back. I don't know what planet yhou are on. 

      • Richard the Lion Hearted says:

        IF SHE TOOK THE MONEY! SHE'S A THIEF! Tell her to come back and prove her innocence!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Such a disgrace and embarrassment to her family.

  20. Anonymous says:

    The money has not been recovered! It has been paid by a third party. Bring her back!

    • Anonymous says:

      The payment would not prevent the home seeking proprietary claims against her for any sums taken.  Unless the home did a deal, which they should tell us about being publicly funded and all.

  21. Truth says:

    If only Caymans politicians would return all they have taken for themselves Cayman islands would have enough to build everything they need to keep up with the rest of the world.  But instead they get a free pass.  "still under investigation"  Like it should take 20 years.

  22. Anon says:

    A crime has still been committed. This is a cover up among the cocktail circus gang who have been getting away with BS like this latest incident for ages

  23. GTFOH says:

    All well and good but does that negate the crime or do rules only apply to some?

  24. willYaListen! says:


    Doing the right thing was always (and is) one of Jonathan Nicholson's strengths. In modern day life this is exceptional even by his high standards. 

    Well done, Jonathan. 

    • Anonymous says:

      You cannot say this without knowing the terms and conditions attached to the payment. 

    • Anonymous says:

      My guess is that this payment was not entirely selfless.

    • Board of Pines must step down says:

      Jonathan has been publicly embarrassed and has tried to do the right thing.  However, XXX no one was auditing the donations or the books.  XXXX the Board was blind, dumb, and absent.  

      When the Sh*T hits the fan, it is the Board that needs to answer, not make excuses.  If the Pines Board wants to answer these questions, show us (The Public) their meeting notes from meetng every six months even…?  Nope.  They do not exist.  They never met, they never managed the Pines, and they never even bothered.  **Neither do ANY audited booked for over a decade.  Wow, and WE let them get away with this?  They are truly the very guilty party and are trying to act innocent of their lazyiness for being a non-acting Board.  They pretty much left the cash drawer open for theft and the temptation was there due to the Board.  XXX

  25. Anonymous says:

    Love is blind.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nice one BoBo. Tankx.

    • Anonymous says:

      Blind, or at least very forgiving; but perhaps that's one of the best things about love. I never was a big fan of Sue's, but I tip my cap to Jonathan for the way he has handled all of this.