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Prison Time for Watson and Blake

Local News 19 Apr, 2023 Follow News

Prison Time for Watson and Blake

After being found guilty of several crimes in relation to fraud lat year, Former Business Man Canover Watson (52) and his co-defendant Bruce Blake (51), were sentenced to prison for their crimes on Wednesday, 19th April.

For his part in the caper, Watson received 8 years in total, whilst Blake will serve a sentence of 2 years.

A jury had deliberated for 9 hours in October, 2022, after a three month trial, before finding the two men culpable for a scheme against CONCACAF, which included false accounting on the part of both defendants, in addition to secret commissions and money laundering with respect to Watson.

Both Watson and Blake were on bail awaiting sentencing.

Though, Watson had also been convicted of fraud previously, in a separate matter involving the Health Services Authority (HSA).

In the present matter - involving both men - the jury found Watson guilty of secret commissions with regard to three false invoices totaling US$1,540,900 paid to Watson by CONCACAF for football kits that were never received or distributed.

The money laundering and false accounting charge for Watson, stemmed from actions he had undertaken, in attempts to conceal and move the funds around, such as creating loans, which were subsequently changed to sponsorship deals through the Cayman Islands Football Association (CIFA).

Blake also faced a charge of money laundering for which the jury found him not guilty.

His conviction for two counts of false accounting.

The sentencing of both men by Chief Justice Margaret Ramsay-Hale is as follows:

Canover Norbert Watson (Sentenced in relation to 6 counts including Secret Commissions, Money Laundering and False Accounting) received:

3.5 years imprisonment for Secret Commissions

• 2 years imprisonment each; for three counts of Transferring Criminal Property (Money

Laundering) which are to run consecutively to the sentence of Secret Commissions.

4.5 years imprisonment for two counts of False Accounting which are to run consecutively to the sentence for Secret Commissions and concurrently in relation to the offences of Transferring Criminal Property (Money Laundering)

This resulted in an overall sentence of 8 years imprisonment.

Bruce Andrew Blake (Sentenced in relation to 2 counts of False Accounting)

2 years imprisonment for the offence of False Accounting.

18 months imprisonment for the offence of False Accounting to run concurrently.

This resulted in an overall sentence of 2 years imprisonment.

Both individuals were then remanded in custody following sentencing.

Their attorneys had petitioned for leniency on the men’s behalf with Blake’s Counsel requesting suspended sentence. However, the Court’s sentencing in the matter makes clear how seriously the law views incidents of fraud and misappropriation of funds.

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