A notorious fraudster who admitted to swindling the Government out of thousands of dollars has been jailed.
Former Ellerton, St George and Shop Hill, St Thomas resident Kerry Omar Gibbons, who had already been serving time at HMP Dodds, was today sentenced to five years and nine days to run concurrently with his current prison term which ends in 2019.
When he appeared before Justice Jacqueline Cornelius in the High Court in September last year, he pleaded guilty to the charges of money laundering, uttering forged cheques and obtaining money on forged documents.
Making reference to the facts previously presented by Crown Counsel Krystal Delaney, Justice Cornelius noted that Gibbons went to the Royal Bank of Canada (RBC) on July 28, 2013 and presented two $2 500 Government of Barbados cheques, payable to him. On July 1 of that same year, he cashed a cheque for $4 900.
The cheques carried a signature purporting to be that of the Accountant General, that was “so well done that the bank teller was completely deceived.”
However, the manager of RBC’s Bridgetown branch later reported to the police that the cheques were counterfeit.
Gibbons admitted that he received the Government cheques from someone and had given them some of the money and bought plane tickets, underwear, shoes and clothes with the rest.
The judge said Gibbons’ criminal history showed that he was a notorious fraudster with 29 previous convictions dating back to March 2006, including theft and “a long history of defrauding”.
She added that Gibbons was the mastermind behind the offences and “showed blatant disregard for stealing from the public purse, which was really stealing from every taxpayer of Barbados”.
Justice Cornelius further noted that Gibbons’ activity was not a one-off “opportunistic event” but was planned and executed “in a sophisticated manner over a period of time.”
She said he had ample opportunity to change his ways, but did not.
“You are a professional fraudster and your history . . . is testament to this. . . . The court is satisfied that had you not been apprehended, you would have extended your criminal career along this path,” the judge said.
For uttering forged documents, Gibbons was sentenced to two years and nine days in prison; for obtaining money on a forged document, he was jailed for two years and nine days to run concurrently; and he got five years and nine days behind bars for money laundering, also to run concurrently.