(CMR) Additional details are emerging from the latest UCCI theft allegations that have the police investigating the former Director of the School of Hospitality Studies (SHS), Wayne Jackson. It appears that Jackson was able to go undetected for over a year before a low-level employee began to question his transactions. Contrary to the university's official statements the issue was not detected during their annual preparation of financial statements but was only reported during that time.
Jackson is being investigated for financial irregularities with few details being provided by the college management itself. However, CMR has undertaken some investigations that have led to some interesting revelations. Marl Road reported earlier that it is being alleged that he was providing invoices for payments for services that were never rendered for a company he owned and did not disclose to the university.
Sources have shared that someone at the clerical level in accountants began to question the cheque requisitions after some time and attempted to verify the details on the invoices Jackson provided for payment. However, all inquiries lead to a dead-end or proved that the information on the invoices was actually false. CMR understands that he used a fake local address for the dive company that was to be paid for the services his company was offering. In fact, no details about the company were correct and the company appears to have not been legitimate in any real way.
The exact amount in question is yet to be fully determined but it appears to be under $100,000 but well over $50,000.
That person is said to have then raised concerns to others which lead the university's management team to be essentially forced to report it on their preparation documents for the 2020 financials. There is a legal requirement that all suspicious activity be reported to the Auditor General's office and eventually the police got involved.
This delay and initial inquiries led Jackson to become suspicious and he eventually claimed that he was going overseas to seek medical treatment. The management at UCCI informed staff that he would be out of the office on sick leave for “eye surgery”. Some weeks letter correspondence was received that he was no longer employed with the institution. Apparently, he told his Chuch of God Chapel, George Town church members that he had cancer. Initially, the church was told that he was not responding to treatment but members were updated more recently that he was “not doing too bad.”
Some other friends were told his mother was ill and that was the reason for his departure.
This is not the first time that a UCCI employee claimed to be ill and needed medical treatment after allegations of financial impropriety surfaced. In fact, former UCCI President Hassan Syed claimed to be ill also and was seeking treatment for illness overseas when it was revealed he had gotten almost $1M from the university and lied about having a doctorate. He was eventually sentenced in August 2017 to 8 years for the theft that he committed amounting to over CI$700,000.
CMR understands he was released during COVID and left with his Caymanian wife who he married whilst incarcerated. The pair now has a child together and resides in Canada.
Whilst Jackson's medical issues cannot be confirmed what is known is that he departed the Cayman Islands on KX 3102 on March 3 headed to the United States and is now believed to have settled in Waterbury, Connecticut, or the Virginia area. It is believed his daughter resides there. Staff was notified by March 23 that he was no longer employed with the university. Jackson has ties to the area and apparently lived in the USA for several months before moving to Cayman in 2014.
He also claims to be working for a company called Royal Hospitality as a business development consultant since April. He has connections to a company called Casa Roja Investments SL.
Tracing Jackson has proven to be an interesting task with him having at least three separate LinkedIn accounts. Since the story broke he has changed his LinkedIn account details to make it less likely that people can find his profile with a name search. He claims to be the owner of Roja Investments since August 2014, around the same time he arrived in the Cayman Islands. He has now amended that name from an LLC to SL and claiming it's registered in Spain.
Before moving to Cayman his family moved to Richmond, Virginia around July 14, 2013.
According to his LinkedIn profile, he was also the Executive Director at the Turks and Caicos Institution of Professional Studies (TCIPS) in Providenciales from May 2001. However, some extensive investigations carried out by CMR discovered that TCIPS didn't start operating until 2009 teaching students forms one to five.
It turns out he had some criminal charges following him in May 2014 in the Magistrate Courts in TCI for failing to pay national insurance contributions and additional charges “as an employer and self-employed person” in the amount of $11,830.98 for the company TCIPS. His matter was adjourned until July of that year pending settlement.
His institution started offering bachelor's degrees in August 2011 in conjunction with Jamaica's University College of the Caribbean according to news coverage at the time. Ironically, he claims to have a Ph.D. at the time. No records at Cayman's UCCI indicate that he informed them of that Ph.D.:
Originally from Montego Bay, St. James, Jamaica Jackson studied at the State University of New York at Delhi. He also received a Master of Science, Management Information degree from the University of Delaware in 2005 and is a member of the National Society of Minorities in Hospitality. He started his position at the University College in August 2014 to head up its new hospitality studies program which began that September. His current three-year contract was due to expire in July 2022.
Oddly he has no work experience listed for Jamaica.
Jackson has left his wife and 13-year-old son in the Cayman Islands where she works for a local company and her son attends a local private school. Their eldest son, a 21-year-old who graduated in July 2016 from John Gray High School who now resides in Wheaton, Maryland, and is an aspiring rap artist.
The police have placed a detention request out for him to local enforcement agencies. The matter has left many questioning the procedures at UCCI.