(CMR) Cayman Marl Road understands that all five immigration officers and two civilians have been found guilty with conspiracy to commit fraud against the government or breach of trust. It was alleged by the Crown that payments of CI$600 or US$800 for a passing score on the English test.
We understand that the parties we charged with conspiracy to commit fraud against the government and/or conspiracy to commit breach of trust on the government. Three persons were found guilty of one offense and three of the other. One civilian person was found not guilty.
All seven defendants had pleaded not guilty and testified after the Crown's case wrapped up on the February 8. They are charged with conspiring with each other and/or others to commit fraud by arranging for payment of rewards to public officers as consideration for providing assistance to work permit applicants who were required to pass an English language test.
The test is a requirement for anyone from a country in which English is not the primary language. The countries specifically mentioned were Honduras, Cuba and Dominican Republic.
The alleged offenses were said to have occurred between August 2015 and June 2016. The five officers are further charged with failure to report the solicitation of an advantage or reward.
The crown’s evidence was largely based on the messages sent between the various parties as well as testimony from one woman who has pleaded guilty to arranging for at least four women, who she said were her cousins from the Dominican Republic, to pay the bribes to get them through the test via one of the defendants.
Some defendants relied up witnesses. They claimed that payments were for buying of numbers – which is illegal in the Cayman Islands and not for the immigration scam.
The case concluded Friday 15, February. This is a developing story and we will provide updates once more information is available on the sentencing phase.
Sherry Lee McLaughlin had plead not guilty and is to appear back in court on March 26 for details on a possible future trial date.