woman pleads guilty to 14 counts of theft
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.