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$192,000 scam

woman pleads guilty to 14 counts of theft

COURT TODAY BLOCKA woman in her 30s yesterday confessed in the High Court to swindling a retired teacher out of almost $200,000 in one month three years ago.

Liza Keithann Cumberbatch, 34, of Boscobelle, St Peter pleaded guilty to 14 counts of theft and one of money-laundering when she appeared before Justice Jacqueline Cornelius.

Crown Counsel Krystal Delaney said that on October 1, 2012, Alvin Brathwaite was at home when he received a telephone call from someone purporting to be his brother, who lives overseas.

The person asked to borrow $6,000 to assist with his relocation to Barbados and told Brathwaite that he should give the funds to a ‘Sonia Best’.

The following day, another call came from the same male caller. This time, he wanted $28,000 by way of a banker’s draft, which was to be made out to Cumberbatch, along with a further $9,000 in cash.

The 81-year-old retired teacher followed the instructions and met ‘Best’ to hand over the draft and the requested cash. Two days later, the retiree got another call, this time asking for $17,000 more in cash.

He went to the bank, withdrew the funds and handed them over to a woman purporting to be Best, acting on behalf of his brother overseas.

Between October 5 and November 2, Brathwaite received nine other calls asking for various sums of money. Still believing that the calls were legitimately from his brother, he not only paid out more cash, but handed over a debit and credit card, along with a pin number.

His bank thereafter informed Brathwaite that $15,507.75 had been used from his credit card. In total, the old man had $192,000 stolen from him.

When Brathwaite’s brother came to Barbados in late November 2012 and he questioned him about the loan, he said he never requested nor borrowed any money from his brother.

It was at that point that Brathwaite reported the matter to the police.

Investigations led to Cumberbatch and in her statement to police, she claimed to have received only $200 from the proceeds.

Justice Cornelius ordered a presentencing report on Cumberbatch, who continues on remand until November 17 when she returns to court.

25 Responses to $192,000 scam

  1. Sugar Kat
    Sugar Kat October 8, 2015 at 8:08 am


  2. Shadia Forde
    Shadia Forde October 8, 2015 at 8:43 am

    He wud got to be a c**t ya does just pick up ya self no proper info an give away money so he in even call his brother an ask no questions u got to b a retired c**t stupseee

  3. Shadia Forde
    Shadia Forde October 8, 2015 at 8:44 am

    She is a wicked woman hope she gets what she deserves

  4. Watchman October 8, 2015 at 8:52 am

    Loss she way in jail pretty please.

  5. Linda Cumberbatch
    Linda Cumberbatch October 8, 2015 at 9:11 am

    Is he a retired teacher or retarded teacher, how cud he gave away so much money in just a few days so, from de second call for $28000 bank draft, $9000 in cash I would call my brother to c wat going on, an had dem f***ers exposed, but he gave dem more money an he debit & credit card wid pin number smh

  6. Margaret Lorde
    Margaret Lorde October 8, 2015 at 9:56 am

    Disgusting…jail her!

  7. dave October 8, 2015 at 10:26 am

    Fuh real ! This happened fuh trute ? Man throw wash water in my pocket.

  8. Les Carr
    Les Carr October 8, 2015 at 10:53 am

    We are often quick to condemn. Everyone ages differently, at 81 years old some people may suffer from early element s of dementia. This couple with lonelioness and then coloured with expectation and excitement of a love one coming homem may cloud good judgement. never know. Most who are condeming the the victim are thinking with young heads but please remember you may not be forever young.

  9. Allyson Benn
    Allyson Benn October 8, 2015 at 2:32 pm

    192,000 ?

    So… Since we on the topic of missing monies…

    BWA… Mtw… Anybody gine jail fuh few millions between the two of them?

  10. Danny Clarke Colombian
    Danny Clarke Colombian October 8, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    that’s why d Nigeria scams on d Internet work every day cause some ppl are gullible

  11. Kevin October 8, 2015 at 6:18 pm

    Maybe he’s going senile, he’s 81.

  12. Yogi Ni October 8, 2015 at 7:11 pm

    I am very sorry to say this, this old man is a real he goat, all he want now is some rope to hang himself. What kind of teacher was he? How the hell could he give people money on his brother behalf , and he had no kind of conversation with his brother about borrowing money. And the person keep requesting more money all the time. Further more they requesting money in cash which should have raised a serious red flag. Something tell me there is much more to this story. This sounds too much like a SEX SCAM.

  13. Yogi Ni October 8, 2015 at 7:13 pm

    This is no body and mind case. His mind was very sharp because when the brother arrived in Barbados he asked for his money.

  14. carson c cadogan October 8, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    This case should not stop here.

    Cumberbatch said that she only received $200.00 out of the $192,000.00.

    She needs to say who got the remaining $191 800.00. She knows who it is.
    Once she says who has the balance of the money then that person needs to be charged.

    “Sonia Best” and Cumberbatch the same person?

    Someone knew that the old Gent. had a sizeable piece of change. Who supplied them with that information? Some one from his Bank?

    Who gave the male caller the old gent’s phone number? Again some one from his Bank?

    I am sure that Cumberbatch knows the person using the Credit Card.

    Why didnt the Bank inform the Old Gent. that there was unusual movement on his Credit Card as they are supposed to?

    So many more cases can be made out of this case that I am wondering why the Royal Barbados Police Force just settled on charging Cumberbatch alone?

    This information clearly indicates that others were involved and are going scotch free. Some sort of plea bargain ought to be given to Cumberbatch to loosen her lips.

  15. Patricia Bowen October 9, 2015 at 12:14 am

    He said his brother called and spoke to him. At 81 yrs, his hearing may be affected, his reflexes and memory deteriorating. It’s possible he assumed or was told his brother was building a house and hence the loan. The impersonator and the conwoman may have led him to believe they were lawyer and contractor hence the frequent withdrawal of funds. At 81 yrs where did the years of academic sense go, what about hindsight, intuition, wisdom and experience. No contract, no second opinion, no phone calls. Nothing, neither did the financial institution notice these red flags of unusal large cash withdrawals by an 81 year old customer as a cause of concern?. How did these con people know the man had money and to assumed he was a gullible target. How did they know the brother lived abroad? What we know is the crooks are amateurs. How else do you order a draft to be written in the name of the person to negotiate it, and sign to receive it. Clues by the fools to catch more fools. The plot thickens in this saga. Stand by.

  16. janette reifer October 9, 2015 at 10:23 am

    This happened here in Bim to a retired teacher. Please give this teacher a head check. He gave away too many cheques to easy. This man has to be on his way to senility. The that played those scams on his. No mercy should be shown. Make examples out them. Life imprisonment


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