Joey jailed for over 2 years

| 29/04/2014

CNS): The former MD of the Electricity Regulatory Authority (ERA) has been handed a two year and three month jail sentence by Grand Court judge, Justice Charles Quin. Joey Ebanks recently made a full and frank confession about stealing some $140,000 from the ERA and from the Apple store in order to fund what was revealed as a more than two decades long crack cocaine addiction. Based on the chief justice's sentencing guidelines, the findings of the Court of Appeal and circumstances of the case, Justice Quin said the appropriate starting point was three years to run concurrently on the nine counts of obtaining property by deception, which was reduced by 25% as a result of Ebanks' very public guilty plea in January.

Ebanks was convicted of 17 counts of various fraud and theft related offenses that included over $50,000 stolen from the local Apple store and more than $80,000 from the ERA over a six month period when he headed up the public authority.

Nine of the seventeen counts concerned obtaining property by deception, while others related to obtaining money transfers by deception, making documents without authority, forgery and transferring criminal property. Ebanks had forged signatures of board members and colleagues at the ERA on cheques for alleged expenses as well as at the Mac store, where he bought iPads and iPhones with those cheques and on the ERA's account at the store. He then passed those devices on to others in exchange for cash and drugs.

The court also found that, given Ebanks' financial situation as a result of his long-term drug addition, on which he spent all of his ill-gotten gains, it was unrealistic to impose any kind of compensation order.

The judge did state, however, that he was impressed by the full and frank public admission Ebanks has made, not just to his crimes but his crack-cocaine addiction, which has resulted in his financial ruin. Ebanks is now bankrupt, with debts exceeding half a million dollars and the bank is in the process of repossessing his home.

Justice Quin said Ebanks' public and unequivocal confession, especially given his public image and involvement in political life in Cayman, was impressive but he noted his concerns over the fact that he had been addicted to crack for more than twenty years.

According to the social enquiry report, Ebanks had managed to cover up his serious addiction from most people except for those from whom he bought the illegal drugs. The long term addiction, however, and the eventual criminal behavior to finance that habit, followed by Ebanks' public admissions, has had a devastating impact on his family. And while his wife of thirty years and two of his four children have stood by him, there is some rift between the other two.

The judge raised his concern over Ebanks' long drug addiction and said he hoped that during his time in jail he would be rehabilitated. He said that should he remain drug free and, once released from jail, keep away from previous drug associates, there is no reason to believe he would ever before the courts again.

Ebanks has openly and publicly declared himself as a born again Christian and since his religious commitment in January he has given up drinking and smoking and has taken full responsibility for his crimes and previous addiction. Ebanks stated through his attorney during his sentencing hearing that he was a liar, a thief and a drug addict and his crimes should not be "sugar coated" or excuses made for him as he had made those decisions and no one else was to blame.

Ebanks, who was remanded in custody last month, left the dock to return to the cells and to serve the rest of his sentence in what appeared to be good spirits.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    'Employers Urged To Report Workplace Crime' a few headlines down  hmmm. Noone was in the least suspicious about his salary advances? Free entertainment and drinks? Ipods? Ipads? Erratic behaviour? Bags of cash?? Nope. Don't see anything unusual there just another loopy friend of a friend in the CIG.

  2. Anonymous says:

    after the turtle farm debacle……questions should be asked of the people who appointed him to the era role……..

  3. Anonymous says:

    $1000 a day on crack and alcohol??? No way. your teeeth would fall out! as you can see joey has all of his teeth… 

  4. Anonymous says:

    Crime do pay in the Cayman Islands.

    This criminal has been handed a CI$140,000.00 prepaid vacation at the Northward Hotel.

    To let him off without having to repay every cent back is really a joke.

  5. Anonymous says:

    What a splap in the face to every hard working person on this Island. One can act biggish and out of control for years, steal while in a position of trust, blame drug abuse for behavior but yet does not reveal who is dealers were, finds "god" at the last hour and gets away with a little jail sentence and has to pay back nothing??? WTH?????

    For the ones who are feeling sorry for the family – I am only feeling sorry for the kids. The rest, I am sorry whatever you say, you MUSt have had some sort of gut feeling that something was just not adding up!


  6. Anonymous says:

    $1000 a day =$5 a rock That=200 rocksa day! More than a chain cigarette smoker smokes a day= a serious drug problem!

  7. Anonymous says:

    As much as your all think, that Joey will be running in the next election, he wont. Check the election law, convictions such as his makes him ineligible.  

  8. Anonymous says:

    1000 dollars a day? Seems crazy. How can someone take that much crack and still function at all? The addiction is only the excuse. Gives a reason to the court for outright stealing

  9. Anonymous says:

    Joey did wrong, yes, but there are many Joeys out there walking around as 'normal' every day, holding positions of trust just as he did and suffering the same horrible addiction.  Addiction is a disease, as real as cancer, and without the right treatment great suffering takes place as we have seen in this case. I am saddened by this because this man had so much promise in his life and has lost it all. My prayers go out for his wife, children, mother and siblings all of whom are victims in this situation. Those of you who are rejoicing and making critical comments should be careful as you never know who in your own circle might be in a similar situation. Pray for this man and his family and stop the hate.

  10. Anonymous says:


    KICK A MAN WHEN HE IS DOWN. We are all subject to down falls so don’t think that you all are above and beyond when it comes to falling.

    Joey I wish you every success in life and I truly hope this is a learning experience and that you may find God as he said prayer and fasting shall break the bands og wickedness

    For your family I wish them well and pray Gods mercies on them.

    All the best

    • Anonymous says:

      Thats good people, do something wrong, and find god, then all your sins will leave!!!! Thats what you are saying…..he never believed in god before don't start now thinking everything will be ok…..and if god is looking out for such wickedness, I  don't want to be apart of that god. 

    • Anonymous says:

      This is why Cayman and Caymanians are regressing many are too lacking in compassion when it comes to their own.  I pray that he will take this opportunity to turn his life around and in so doing he will find the healing that is needed.  

  11. Anonymous says:

    Denied everything at beginning?  Tick. Admitted guilt when he knew the evidence was overwhelming?  Tick.  "Found God".  Tick.  Do I buy it?  Fail!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Something is wrong with this picture….$1,000 worth of crack and alcohol per day? And he kept it hidden for so long? It seems some pieces of this puzzle are missing!

    And suddenly he now found God? Seems like a ploy!

    Also, like others have asked….where did he get so much drugs from? Is anyone else being investigated?

    This just does not seem like the full picture!

    • Anonymous says:

      There is a simple explanation.  He was paying too much for poor quality crack.

    • Anonymou$ says:

      It wasn't hidden.

      Don't you recall the astronomical bar tab he had while he was MD at the Turtle Farm? This was a red flag that was ignored by those who appointed him to the MD role at the ERA.

  13. Anonymous says:

    how many people voted for him in North Side – scary!

  14. Anonymous says:

    The persom who put him in such a trusted position should serve some time too. This man was a well known thief and should not have been put in charge of the publics checkbook.

  15. brit says:

    2 yrs what a joke…..

  16. Anonymous says:

    Well I'll be damned!!! how is that for justice? I hope the sweats and shakes don't get too unbearable.  Now, go on up deh to the big yard with your bible and spread the good word! smh

  17. Anonymous says:

    2.5 years….in time for the next election season but now as a reformed and born again Christian. Ezzard, ya listening!

  18. Anonymous says:

    Who supplied the cocaine ?


  19. Anonymous says:

    Crack is not a easy thing to stop, just coming out of bed one morning & saying I give up on crack dont work! you will have a rocky road ahead espicially in a place where the drugs are around you 24/7=HMP & the law can't do a thing about it=not good!

    • Anonymous says:

      Crack is quite easy to give up.  You do crystal meth instead and the crack problem disappears.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yup true. But I get the feeling he really does want to quit, which will help. 

    • Anonymous says:

      "rocky road ahead" lol i see what you did there

  20. Anonymous says:

    Did he name his dealers?  No?  Then he is not truly sorry as he says, he is just playing the game to get a lighter sentence.

    • MEM says:

      Those same dealers would be on the road to torment his family or jailed with him knowing he talked so I guess giving evidence against them wouldn't be smart. Also even if he did give names the police (and we know how efficient they are) would have to set up some sort of raid or undercover sting to get evidence on them, Joey calling names is unfortunately not enough evidence on a dealer to convict them, sucks.

    • Anonymous says:

      You don't really know what the true story is, do you?

  21. Anonymous says:

    an expat should have gotten 50 yrs instead! caymanians has always been gettting more time than outsiders!

    • Anonymous says:


    • Anonymous says:

      Expats introduced the drugs in the first place to the Cayman Islands.

      • Anonymous says:

        keep blaming the expats for your mistakes! did they hold him down no, did they force him no? He had a choice but made the wrong one.  I do believe though that someone should have at least tried to find out who his supplier was for afterall this was going on for over 20 years

  22. Anonymous says:

    Seems too low given that the thefts occurred while performing a public service.  The starting point should have been 5 years, with reductions applied from there

    • Anonymous says:

      and he doesn't even have to pay it back…thats a kick in the ass….but does anyone wonder though WHERE WAS HE GETTING THE DRUGS??? over 20 years he has had a drug problem?  Didn't they say he had in while serving the RCIPS?  DOn't they do drug testing on their employees? and of course the best one yet he found jesus…they all find jesus when they have been caught..lmao

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree that the sentence should have been five years at least and he should have been ordered to repay the amounts. If he did not have the funds,  any  assets he had should have been sieized and sold to repay the aggrieved parties. A cocaine addict does not deserve sympathy from the court system as that is someting he brought upon himself

  23. Young Man says:

    Joey Ebanks was Cayman Net News' 'Person of the Year 2008.' He was also very hostile on Facebook too. He probably made it difficult for his lawyer with many of the things he was saying publicly online that could have been used against him.

    • Anonymous says:

      'Person of the Year 2008.'


      That "honour" was bought and paid for by the Turtle Farm.

  24. Flying Fish says:

    He should consider himself lucky to get such a light sentence. He'll spend less than 2 years in jail and be well fed. The only ones to genuinely suffer from this are his innocent wife and kids, plus the theft of the public's funds that will never be restored.

    There is no sting in this sentence and theeore it is not a deterrent. Nobody wins, his family suffers and there is no fear put in the minds of wrongdoers.


    • MEM says:

      They should issue his Government pensions to his family during the two years or make the wife access it to pay for the house.

  25. Hancock says:

    So which premier employed him from one job to another? As someone well known to us once said, there were more red flags than at a bullfight in Madrid.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Man of the year… not this year BoBo!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Sorry, I'm not very convinced by all this. What about the $55K he paid back to the Turtle Farm in cash? Where did that come from? This ain't over yet.

  28. Knot S Smart says:

    Joey was a smart person who had so many opportunities but really messed up bad…

    Hope he turns his life around!


  29. Anonymous says:

    Only 2 years? He'll be out in half that.

  30. Anonymous says:

    I hope he learns after this & becomes a better person!

  31. Anonymous says:

    Not as bad as I thought, given breach of trust and all. 

    Hey Joey, you'll still be out in tme to campaign and run for election in 2017 eh? 

    All the best man.

    • Anonymous says:

      Now that he has been convicted of offences involving dishonesty (and sentenced to a term exceeding 1 year to boot) Joey is now disqualified from ever running for office again under the Constitution.

    • Anonymous says:

      He will not be able to campaign ever again as he will be in prison for more than 12 months.

      All that does is guarantee Big Mouth Ezzard a seat as Norh Side LA until the day he dies….

    • Anonymous says:

      Joey, you've got my vote !

    • Anonymous says:

      Sorry but Joey  will not be eligible to run for  election again, he messed up big time.

  32. Anonymous says:

    Joey, you did wrong but please remember that God still loves you. What you did is not a surprise to God, he knew when he gave us all free will that we would mess, but remember he is only a prayer away. While in prison try to spend your time talking to the younger guys you will meet in there to try to get them to turn their lives around. Remind them that God loves them too and as long as they are alive it is never to late to make the change. Focus on positive things, read your bible and other positive books and put your trust in God always. You can be a model inmate. Men who have done much more that you did are today shining examples of  forgiveness and grace.

  33. noname says:

    An expat would have gotten 5. 

    • Anonymous says:

      An expat would have quickly left the island never to be heard of again. typical!

    • Anonymous says:

      Probably 5 more years in another government department.

    • Anonymous says:

      Well if you commit a crime in another man's country what do you expect.  Learn to behave yourself when you are in another persons homeland.

    • Anonymous says:

      What rubbish. Expat criminals often abscond and don't even stand trial, and when they do they are on average released much earlier than Caymanian criminals. I can think of any reason why Justice Quin would be biassed against expats.