(CMR) Patrice Leanne Frederick (35) was sentenced on Thursday, May 13 to two years imprisonment for three counts of theft and one count of transfer of criminal property valued at over KYD $92,608.33.
She was convicted of stealing over a two-year period when she worked at Fidelity Bank (Cayman) Limited after a whistleblower notified the regional office in the Bahamas on April 1, 2018.
The court heard how Frederick used three methods to take money from at least two client accounts starting in September 2015. She utilized internal wire transfers by means of fraudulent email instructions, prepared drafts written in the names of bank customers known to her which were later cashed and straight cash withdrawals from clients' accounts.
It was alleged she used the money to furnish a lavish lifestyle beyond her means.
Her schemes involved numerous friends and acquaintances that she told she was getting loans from individuals but was unable to place the bank drafts in her name because of rules at Fidelity. She reached out to eight of her friends via WhatsApp or text messages. They then unknowingly and with no benefit to themselves facilitated the theft by agreeing to have the drafts placed in their name and then cashing it and handing the money over to Frederick.
In at least one instance, she purported to have sent a fake emailed alleged from one of the victims to the bank providing instructions to transfer money.
The 23 transfers were recognized as being fraudulent once the bank carried out an internal audit and FCU was notified. She was arrested and two homes were searched including her mother's residence in Spotts. On August 28, 2020, she was formally charged and appeared in Summary Court on September 29, 2020.
There were over 23 statements taken by the Financial Crimes Unit (FCU) in preparation for their case. The victims included Odell Smith of FixIt Electronics and Ronald Blair of Infotech Incorporated.
Smith, now deceased, said he had been tricked by Frederick after she initially stole over $26,500 from him into telling the bank that he has authorized the transactions as a loan to her. She agreed to have per parents pay the “loan” back but that was not done.
Frederick was previously sentenced to 240 hours of community service in November 2014 after being convicted of careless driving for hitting a pedestrian while driving on the East-West Arterial Highway on January 6, 2011. The victim in that incident sustained life-threatening injuries including a cracked skull, fractured clavicle and scapula, fractured ribs and wrist, large laceration to the skull, forehead and left arm and significant road rash.