Teen forger dodges conviction

| 03/11/2014

(CNS): A 17 year old student narrowly missed ruining his hoped for future career in finance after a judge decided not to convict him formally for what was a crude attempt at forging a fifty dollar bill. He was, however, ordered to undertake 240 hours of community service. In what appears to be more of a high school prank than a real attempt to counterfeit cash the young man who is now 18 admitted photocopying a real CI$50 note and then presenting it, by mistake, to the school receptionist at St Ignatius to purchase goods. Having acknowledged his guilt immediately on arrest and having shown significant remorse, the judge made the decision not to record a conviction against the teen who wants to be an accountant.

When caught the defendant said he had made the fake cash on a photocopier at home, on ordinary paper. He also told the police that making the note was a “lack of judgment” and as a result of what happened, he felt “like a complete idiot”. 

In the wake of the charges against him the young man had apologized to his school and family and during his sentencing hearing last week the court heard that he had committed the offence when he was just 17. With no previous convictions and an honour graduate the teen was described as a high performer, committed to a future career in accounting, which led his defence attorney, Richard Barton, to implore the court to use its powers not to record a conviction.

Given the crude and foolish attempt at forgery, Justice Charles Quin who heard the case said that it was not a very good copy and the teenager had, according to the school learned a lesson as a result of what transpired. He was also said to have handled the aftermath of the foolish behaviour very well. Writing to the court, about the student's potential and what had happened, the school headmaster also appealed to the judge for leniency.

Described by the department of community rehabilitation unit in a social enquiry report as a “respectful and responsible” young man, he had shown “genuine and deep remorse” for the serious error of judgment, they stated, and was rated as having a very low risk of reoffending. The probation officers recommended a non-custodial sentence and also suggested that the judge consider not recording a conviction, which was unopposed by the Crown prosecutors, the court heard.

Given all of the circumstances and despite that forgery is normally viewed very seriously by the courts in the Cayman Islands, the crude and unsophisticated attempt led Justice Quin not to record a conviction. However, the teenager did not get off without some punishment when the judge said he must undertake 240 hours of suitable work in the community with an agency such as public works, the department of education or the National Trust.

The teen was warned however, should he fail to complete the community service he could face a $2000 fine or any other appropriate sentence.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    These comments are so pessimistic… Thankfully a young person was given another chance because of his bright future. I've grown up with this young man (we are both from BT) and private/public school has nothing to do with it. Neither of us are "white" and have both attended public school before St Ignatius. 

  2. Anonymous says:

    I have read many ofthe posts below,and it appears most of them refer if the same would happen toapublic school kid… Guess what NO!!! reason being is firstly the kids would have hit the teacher, secondly the parents would have threatened the head of school and teacher (charges dropped then),thirdly most likely the kid wouldhave gone tocourt and pled not guiltyand to this day woudhave said a find gave it o him!!!!


    • Anonymous says:

           23:00.You are one prejudiced individual.It is said that if a rock is thrown into a pigpen,the one that squeals the most is the one that was hit.Seems like you were really hit hard, judging by your very loud squeals.Again you are one very prejudiced and bigoted person.

  3. Knot S Smart says:

    I predict that this young person will grow up to be a lawyer…

  4. Anonymous says:

    And the labour board wonders why people are reluctant to hire locals into positions of trust. 

    I have literally had someone tell me in a job interview that their favorite thing about their former boss was that he would drink with them at lunch hour. And by drink I mean beer. I've had another apply to a job that requires handling cash yet this person had a criminal conviction for stealing from a former employer. These are the people that are sent to me by the labour board. What a waste of time in a highly competitive business world. 

    • Anonyanmous says:

      Feel really bad for you employer 19:55 atleast you were able to find out about one of your local potential job applicant criminal past.  A Caymanian firm was not able to do the same for an expat worker prior to being taken for over $800K. 

    • Anonymous says:

                19:55 And what about the expat who stole from the Chamber of Commerce ,was he sent by the lLabour Dept;and the guy who stole from Solomon Harris,did he attend A CI Govt school;and I could go on ,but I will not. The point is that  crooks come in all shapes and forms including expats. Your post is bigoted,and fails to take note of this very important fact.

      • Anonymous says:

        How is reporting on my experiences interviewing people bigoted? These things happened. My point is that when I am presented with these situations, it is no wonder that I am not enthusiastic about hiring these people. There is nothing bigoted about that. In fact, your post is exactly the same as mine. You point out experiences other people have had with expats who were less than desirable in the work place. How is my post bigoted but your is not?

  5. Only a Duck says:

    Please ensure the community service is real unlike so many other examples.

    • Anonymous says:

      Community service is just like them under house arrest or curfew.  Their is on in my district, who is out morning noon and night.  What a laugh  at the Court Order!  Stop encouraging these young people in their low life and Children and Family Services providing for them and their numerous daddy children.


  6. Anonymous says:

     It is really interesting to watch the slant ofposters when stories such as these are commented on.If the student attended a Public school the slant  of the majority is definitely in favour of harsher punishment;if the student is a private school student ,then the slant of the majority is for more lenient punishment.Go figure.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Remember the case of the private school student who seriously assaulted his best friend over a girl.He too was given very lenient treatment.( Ibelieve he escaped with no record and only had to pay the victims medical bill) One has to wonder if either of these students was Caymanian.

  8. MEM says:

    Obviously a well-off family that they hired a private defense attorney and that this young man spent his entire school career in a private school, begs the question of whether this same courtesy would be extended to a regular public school student though.

    • Anonymous says:

      15:28 not an well off family, but one who tried to do the best for their child.  He is local but each time we set a precedent.

  9. George Towner to dah bone says:

    So what's the difference with this seventeen now eighteen year old, why his name isn't being plastered all over the news? If that had been one of our public school kids that done this, despite if it was a prank or an possible mistake, would have been given a record, one year in prison and his name would be definitely plastered all over the media. I guess it's only the public school kids that are devils and those from the privates schools are saints, and get a slap on the wrist with a pair of cotton socks.  

  10. Anonyanmous says:

    The ideal profession for this young person, he will be able to detect anyand all fraud.  The government should offer him a job similar to what was done in the movie Catch me if you can…. a beautiful mind is a terriable thing to waste.

    • Anonymous says:

      He photocopied a $50 note and got caught – a criminal genius this does not make. Most kids could come up with a scam with some ingenuity and not get caught – this kid was so dumb he tried to pass the note at his own school!

      Criminal lesson number 1 – Don't s*** on your own door-step.

      Criminal lesson number 2 – Don't photocopy bank notes onto regular paper – only someone thicker than you will accept the note as genuine.

    • Diogenes says:

      Yeah – he is a real genius, photocopying bank notes onto ordinary paper.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Kid gets off because he goes to St Ignatius and not Clifton Hunter. This should be on his record like everyone else.



    • Anonymous says:

      At Clifton Hunter it would never get to court.

    • Anonymous says:

      Probably some truth in that statement, but not black and white.  Take the fact he is probably from a home with two parents who want the best for their kid, else why would they pay 11k a year for education, probably got a decent lawyer, probably said the right things in court, probably had parents that turned up in court to support their kid, probably had a good school record and probably got the benefit of the doubt for doing all those things. It's not drugs, which tend to have a dependency and escalation element, agreed not always. There doesn't appear to be any family, immediate or otherwise, that are having a negative impact on the kid, or that could have a negative impact.  Chances of doing it again, pretty slim.

      What good would come from having a conviction, dead end jobs for life? Where's the balance between a single stupid act and a lifetime of punishment? 

      People make mistakes, the real issues occur when people don't learn from their mistakes and repeat or escalate them.

      • Anonymous says:

                    08:29.Apparently this young man had everything going for him ,so he deserved a break.What this suggests if a child comes from a poor family who cannot afford , to send their child toprivate school, or afford a lawyer,and had bad grades ,would not get the benefit of the doubt.   Is this justice?                                                                                                                                                  You also say , with regard to this child "What good would comefrom having a conviction, dead end jobs for life? Where's the balance between a single stupid act and a lifetime of punishment? People make mistakes, the real issues occur when people don't learn from their mistakes and repeat or escalate them." Shouldn't this apply equallyas much to a child from a poorer background?Your post suggests otherwise.



  12. Anonymous says:

    Is this really even a story?

  13. Fred the Piemaker says:

    I pity any St Ignatius student applying for an accountancy job this year.  Anonymity may protect this young man but it casts a shadow on others.  I can understand the remorse, but find it difficult to believe that the forged note was presented by mistake.The combination of dishonest intent and the stupidity in believing that such a crude forgery would work are not exactly strong recommendations for the accounting profession.  Perhaps he should try for politics instead.    

    • The Pastafarian says:

      Fred, I nominate your comment for "Best Comment of the Year" award!!!

  14. Anonymous says:

    He sounds perfect for CIMA.

  15. Anonymous says:

    This is what should happen to most teenagers who commit minor non-violent crimes (including theft, and most drug related crimes).

    However most Caymanian teenagers are instead thrown in to Northward, given a criminal record, assuring that they will become hardened criminals

    There is some serious injustice in the way that we treat our young offenders in this country.

    I can't help but note that this young person attends a private school.



    • Anonymous says:

      True. But  no-one wants to hear that, especially the elite Caymanians who send their kids to Private schools. We are now class prejudice. SMH.

    • Anonymous says:

      Most Caymanian teenagers giving serious problems at state schools are dealt with by the school and their Caymanian head teacher. It never gets as as far as the Courts, so they are not thrown in Northward!.

  16. Jesters says:

    The “adults” invloved in the decision chain from the school to the police station to the DPPs office should not be in positions of authority. What’re a joke to send this to court.

  17. Got2B Kidding says:

    Who took this to court? Ridiculous. If only RCIP and the DPP would devote their energies to prosecutimg actual criminals. You know, like the armed bandits roaming our islands at will.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Nicely done judge. great ruling, I bet that he will be a better person now. congrats.

  19. Anonymous says:

    A new concept – “Second chances” + “Clean slates”!
    Take note John Gray kids…but does this apply to you as well??

  20. Cayman Sucka Free says:

    Different strokes for different Folks thats how it goes in these islands these days ,pay attention Cayman pay attention !!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Correct 07.25. The real criminals in the LA and the robber barons (not just the gun toting ones, but the monopoly/cartel owners/lodge members) get away with absolute murder.

  21. Anonymous says:

    A  sensible decision given the circumstances, but with his headmaster pleading for leniency might it not have been wiser for the school to deal with this outside the court system?.

    • Anonymous says:

               01:33. They should have covered up the crime? Because he attended a private school? Wow.

  22. Dolla bill y'all says:

    Hmmm. Well, stupid mistake and lesson learned, I hope. CPA doesn’t stand for Counterfeit Public Accountant, kid. You got lucky this time, don’t let greed and dishonesty ruin your future career once it is started, as it almost didn’t.

  23. Anonymous says:
    • why did the school have to take the matter so far ? couldn't some of their Christian characters sort this out?
  24. Anonymous says:

    I’m glad the kid has been given a second chance but I know if was a kid from the public school system it wouldn’t have been the same ending.

  25. Anonymous says:

    A photocopy on regular paper passed at school by a student?!  They called the cops!?

    • Anonymous says:

      YES! Because is ef'ing illegal to do!!!!

    • Diogenes says:

      Because if he had been a better criminal it would have been serious, but since he was so incompetent it’s OK? Help me out here – how does the identity of the victim or the stupidity of the perpetrator affect the crime or the criminal intent?

  26. Anonymous says:

    It's these 2003 Status grants again.

    • Anonyanmous says:

      Results of the 2003 status grants at play again, you know it poster 18:49, results of the 2003 status grants, they are at it again, told em so!

  27. Anonymous says:

    A prank? He made fake cash and wants to be an accountant?


    How about giving the students at public schools a break then when they get caught with a ganja cigarette? After all they might have plans to become a pharmacist or farmer overseas where ganja is being grown for medicinal purposes?

    I am happy he has a chance to repent and be given a second chance but this lenient approach should be used for all teens experimenting. 

    Thanks for the precedent though and as usual Judge Quinn seems to have good grasp on giving people a fair chance vs destroying their futures.

  28. Anonymous says:

    oh yeah   he is going to have a GOOD career in finance !!   just tell me where he is going to work so that i can take my money out of that bank !!!!!

    • Anonyanmous says:

      He does not have to go into banking he can open his own investment firm like Bernie Madoff, become an investor like Allan Stanford, sell bonds like Michael Milken, become a CEO like Meyer Blinder, he can even get some investors to form a company and charge the CI government millions to fix the dump better yet he can get a couple of investors to sell the government an idea on how to turn straw into gold, I am sure he will master the art of that too. Promising career young man just get your foot in the door by attending some cocktail parties on the who is who scene and you're in to wine, dine, deal and to make a steal.  Caymanians have been played for years it is hight time for the tables to turn.

  29. Anonymous says:

    What is the difference between forging a 50$ bill and being an accountant ?

    Well, it is the same, butfor the accountant the law is in his favor.

    • Anonymous says:

      and six years of study in the case of ACA (3 years Bachelors degree+ 3years professional exams)

  30. Anonymous says:

    Well, atleast he will have a bright future in the government accounts department

  31. Anonymous says:

    only sorry you got caught, man up son! when we were young we all made mistakes, i never photo copied money before but i've done some stuff im not proud off. dont let this mistake ruin your life, just know now you're gonna have to work your ass off more now on the long road to where you want to be because of the short cuts you were trying to take