Former McBride (Caribbean) Limited employee jailed for massive theft
Robert Ricardo Smith will spend the next two years in prison for stealing a total of $242 979.55 from his employer, McBride (Caribbean) Limited, over the course of eight years.
That was the remainder of a six-year starting sentence imposed on the 62-year-old New Block #1, Bonnets, St Michael resident by Madam Justice Laurie-Ann Smith-Bovell on Friday.
The first-time offender had pleaded guilty to nine counts of theft.
“This is a serious matter and a custodial sentence is justified in this case and only such a sentence will have some deterrent effect in relation to these types of matters . . . and protect the public,” the judge said as she handed down her ruling in the No. 4 Supreme Court.
Smith stole $29 431.49, between February 2 and November 17, 2000; between February 6 and December 13, 2001, he stole $27 416.45; between January 15 and December 20, 2002, he stole $27 674.24; and between January 13 and December 11, 2002, he stole $17 293.12.
He also stole $41 028.99 between January 9 and December 24, 2004; $34 921.92 between January 20 and December 14, 2005; $26 013.28 between January 10 and November 8, 2006; $27 166.03 between January 31 and December 20, 2007; and $12 034.03 between July 21 and October 15, 2008.
The judge pointed out that through his attorney Angella Mitchell-Gittens, the now-convicted man indicated that he was minded to repay the company a portion of the money stolen and an agreement had been discussed, under which money held as part of his pension plan would be paid to McBride (Caribbean) Limited.
The outstanding balance would be paid in monthly instalments of $1 500 until the sum was paid back.
However, Justice Smith-Bovell said: “Realistically, that is not going to happen. At this rate, it will take at least 10 years for this money to be paid back, so that is not feasible.”
She also pointed out that it was clear from the facts that the accused was in a position of trust within the company.
“From the facts, the theft was committed over an eight-year period and could not, by any stretch of the imagination, be considered a spontaneous act but was, in fact, a sustained and clearly thought out plan to steal the company’s money,” she said.
The aggravating features of the crime, the judge said, included the large sum of money stolen, the fact Smith was in a position of trust which he abused, that the theft involved some degree of planning and sophistication, and the financial impact on the company.
A six-year starting sentence was then imposed, from which a one-third discount was given, leaving Smith with four years. Another two years were deducted for the 13-year delay in having the case heard, leaving Smith with two years left to serve on each count.
The sentences will run concurrently.