Former bank employee Kevin Dacosta Cadogan, who confessed to taking $290,000 from a nurse’s account, said he made a plan with “the perfect businessman” to take the money and then later return it without anyone noticing, a court heard Monday.
But when the second part of the plan failed, he followed the man’s advice to contact the customer to let her know that he took the money and would return it.
Cadogan went to the nurse’s house with a note that said “my name is Kevin Cadogan, please contact me”. The woman called and after Cadogan confessed she told him “the police and the bank would deal with that”. Cadogan was in police custody days later.
This story was part of the Arthur’s Seat, St Thomas man’s say in his pre-sentencing submissions before Justice Laurie-Ann Smith Bovell in the No.4 Supreme Court.
Cadogan had pleaded guilty on March 8 to stealing the money from a Bank of Nova Scotia draft payable to RBTT Bank and also stealing $290,000 belonging to the same bank and engaging in money laundering by directly engaging in transactions totaling $312,960 as the proceeds of crime. The offences occurred between August 1 and October 31, 2011.
Cadogan recalled being in his 20s and naïve when he committed the offence, calling it “the hardest thing in [his] life”.
He told the court: “I would never, never like to go through this again. I have been living in regret for the past ten years about every single decision and I am now living a life where I can pay back the community for what I did.”
The convicted man said he was sorry to all people he hurt during a “very foolish moment”.
“When doing things you don’t realize how selfish it is, you only think about your gain,” he continued.
Cadogan said he knew he affected the nurse’s life negatively for all these years and had tried to reach out but to no avail.
Appearing to be in tears at some points, Cadogan recalled growing up poor with his mother and brother and moving from house to house.
He did not know his father and said he, at one point, lived with his grandmother, who they called the Salvation Army because the house was small with many people living in it.
He recalled being a smart boy in primary school who “use to come first in class every single year”.
After attending one of the island’s top schools he gained seven CXCs and left school to work at numerous jobs.
It was in his 20s that he said he found a group of people where he felt like a “brother”.
Cadogan said he got “VIP graduation” among those friends and got “special drinks, special outings, everything”. He became friends with a man who “looked like the perfect businessman” and his job became the topic of conversations.
The specific account was raised during these conversations.
The plan, according to Cadogan, was to “get the money, split it and put it back on in one”.
After the transaction occurred “from there it was like wow, extra money and I really started to just wild out”.
But in two weeks, after the “routine” wild nights of spending money, Cadogan said his body “give out”.
“It start to hit me, when this money getting put back. I think I mess up,” he recalled saying.
When no money came back, Cadogan questioned “the perfect businessman” but said, “he seemed more annoyed than anything”.
“It was supposed to be an in, out, nobody don’t know and [go] long ‘bout we business and call that a day,” Cadogan said.
The businessman told Cadogan: “If you so concerned about the woman money, why you don’t contact her and let she know that I took it and I would put it back on her account?”
“In my mind, this was the perfect advice,” Cadogan recounted.
He went to the nurse’s house with the note asking her to get in touch with him. After she called him and he confessed, days later he was arrested and said “life dwindled downhill”.
He recalled the shame and embarrassment of his family and going into a depressive state.
“I thought I was poor and happy until I was 21 and just came out of Her Majesty’s Prison, have no job, have nothing,” he told the court.
He went through financial hardships and “going through change to buy ramen”.
Feeling like he wanted to give up, he said divine intervention happened. He worked as a waiter first, then a restaurant supervisor at a highend hotel. It was here he said the job “taught him about life and taking care of people”.
Then his case was called and things changed for him. He was laid off and Monday asked the court for mercy as he doesn’t want his children to go through what he did.
“I ended up being gullible to someone who took my good character and used it for their own gain,” he told the judge.
He said he was “nowhere close to the man I was 12 years ago” and wanted to repay his debt to society.
He said though he accepts that he has to be punished he is thinking of his freedom for the benefit of his family.
“I don’t want them to grow up the way I grew up,” he said.
Justice Bovell told Cadogan that a custodial sentence was possible but said she would allow character witnesses to speak on his behalf who would assist with the sentencing decision.
The character witnesses are to appear on April 3.
Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Alliston Seale appears for the Crown in the matter while Cadogan is self-represented.(TS)