“You twisted and turned, invented a complicated web of lies and not shown a jot of remorse.”
That’s what a Grand Court judge told Canover Watson Friday (5 February) as he sentenced him to seven years in prison.
He was once paraded as a shining example of how a young Caymanian entrepreneur should be.
Now 45 year old Canover Watson is behind bars as he begins his lengthy jail term.
Judge Mr. Justice Michael Mettyear told him: “You fooled senior civil servants and possibly a minister. You tried to fool the jury. There, you failed.
“You were an inspiration to many young Caymanians. What on earth must they think of you now?”
There was special praise from the judge as well, for the detectives who investigated the case.
He described their work as nothing short of spectacular and also had good things to say about the prosecutors.
Although those detectives were members of the RCIPS, this was not a police investigation.
Instead, they were seconded to the Anti-Corruption Commission, who today welcomed the sentence handed down to Watson.
“That level of involvement in wrong doing cannot really go unpunished,” said Norman Bodden of the ACC.
“That sends a strong message to the general public and to those who hold public office to really uphold the principles of honesty and integrity that are expected.
“Otherwise they would not be appointed to those boards, if those who made the appointments did not have confidence in them to do the job they were expected to do.”
Mr. Watson’s own barrister, Trevor Burke QC said he has no doubt his client faces ruin, will struggle to ever find a job and will never be allowed to work as an accountant again.
The Minister of Financial services, Wayne Panton, was a guest on Thursday’s The Panel and said in days gone by, Canover Watson was a shining star in the financial sector.
But the minister has a message for those tempted to follow in Mr. Watson’s footsteps, and let greed take over.
“Young people can take the lesson that it is very easy to be led astray it is easy to succumb to the material side of things and perhaps allow greed to take over and we have to always guard against it,” said Minister Panton.
“The lessons that our parents have taught us need to be remembered and the lessons we see happing around us need to be remembered.”