(CMR) Canover Watson and Bruce Blake had their bails extended on Friday after a jury found both men guilty in the CONCACAF fraud trial. Watson was found guilty of six counts, including secret commissions, money laundering, and false accounting, while Blake was found guilty of two counts of false accounting.
Their bail was extended until January 19, when they are expended to return for a sentencing hearing. The crime of secret commissions carries a penalty of up to five years in prison, 14 years for money laundering, and seven for false accounting.
Chief Justice Margaret Ramsay-Hale gave a stern warning to both men that if they did not adhere to the conditions of their bail, then they could be arrested.
“Anytime you are not where you are supposed to be, I am going to revisit bail… If you are called by social services for an interview, and you don't go, you might find me issuing an order for your arrest and reconsidering bail because I want it to be done by January,” Justice Ramsay-Hale stated.
The prosecution was opposed to Watson getting bail, stating he was a flight risk due to the length of the sentence he could possibly face. The court heard that he had a previous court order to pay $1 million but did not pay the money despite selling his house in Atlanta.
Watson was offered bail with surety; however, the judge removed it due to his inability to find anyone to stand as surety. Justice Ramsay-Hale refused Watson's father as a surety due to his advanced age. His father is 82 years old.
Watson's lawyer said he has nowhere to go so he will not run away. Also, his elderly father is in the Cayman Islands, and he will not leave his father. It was suggested he be asked to report to the George Town Police three times per week as a condition of his bail.
Blake's lawyer, Cairns Nelson KC, in requesting bail, said the verdict was a tragedy for Blake, who has a young child and a pregnant wife. He said Blake has been cooperative and shown exemplary behavior while on bail over the last 5 years.
He also requested a social inquiry report to be done for Blake. He asked for mercy for his client, to allow him to put his affairs in order before he comes back before the court, when sentencing will be determined.