Economist Petra Williams to be sentenced for obtaining money by false pretenses

Petra Williams (Facebook photo)

Economist, Petra Williams will have to wait a while longer to learn her fate after a High Court Judge deferred her sentencing today.

Williams pleaded guilty to obtaining money by false pretenses last month stemming from a 2009 incident.

The defendant borrowed $245,000 from a man and agreed she would repay the money in five days.

She assured the lender she would have the money as she was about to close a deal on a land transaction and was expecting a loan from a bank.

When the money was not repaid, the complainant made several requests for the money to no avail and it was revealed Williams had no pending loan application.

When Williams appeared for sentencing today, the court heard she had repaid the debt in full.

Her lawyer, Justice Simon, who said his client is apologetic over the incident, said the case arose out of a transaction that did not come through as expected.

He said the 47-year-old is the primary caregiver for her 71-year-old mother and 18-year-old son.

He also said she regularly volunteers her time and resources to helping the less fortunate in her community and the country.

The judge delayed the sentence to consider legal authorities related to the case he will hand down his sentence on June 25.

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  1. Mmmmmmmmmm…….many ANTIGUANS who were scammed out of insurance monies maybe her mom was one of them …..

    Doing “good deeds” doesn’t t eliminate or excuse fraudulent behaviors “

    However she has since repaid monies … close

    • NOT LIKE THAT M….m’

      Whatever an accused person who awaits criminal punishment does, that has the appearance of attempting to avoid such punishment, could constitute the crime ‘…Perverting the Course of Justice.’

      In the instant case, the attorney and the accused runs the risk of being cited for,

      (i) …Conspiring to Pervert the Course of Justice; and

      (ii) …Perverting the Course of Justice.’

      These developments shall invite the attention of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

      Except acts that may constitute ‘…Contempt of Court,’ an adjudicator shall not concern himself with ‘…’…Compensatory settlement,’ outside the Court.

      Hence, the imposition of punishment after an accused person has,

      (i) …Pleaded guilty to the Indictments;

      (ii) …Facts of Case given to the Court by the ‘DPP or Crown Counsel’ acting on his behalf, is entirely a
      matter for the sole consideration of an adjudicator.

      Except adjournment for a ‘…Social Inquiry Report,’ to assist in guiding ‘…severity or leniency of punishment,’ there may be no adjournment to ‘…consider legal authorities,’ simply because an accused person has reportedly paid back monies entrusted to him/her.

      This has never been an issue under Judicial consideration and has never been part of the Case for the Prosecution or the Defence. This does not preclude an adjudicator to put such option to the victim of a crime.

      The Case of Regina v Everton Francis, makes the point. A Jamaican national was shot and crippled [March 2, 2007: Antigua Observer: July 8, 2010]. The Court pointed out to the victim who opted for compensation of EC$250, 000.’

      The accused ‘…walked free of a fine or imprisonment.’ These would ‘…not have been financially helpful to the victim.’

      Compensation has never been part of the criminal proceedings for the crime ‘…arrested, charged, committed, indicted and subsequently pleaded guilty to.’

      Though this may not necessarily be the case, no adjudicator shall place himself in a position where ‘…his judicial competence might be brought under microscopic scrutiny.’

  2. I did not know that a person can take legal action against anyone who borrow money from them that having a problem to retrieve it back. I have loan small amount of money to several people who I thought were sincere starting back to 2010. One young lady who had borrowed $500 twice ($1000); firstly she ran short on her monthly bank mortgage payment of $500, and secondly she had used $500 out of some money send to her from America to assist in paper process for her grandchildren. The next person an officer of the law borrow $300. The final person is my niece who had borrowed $1100 because she ran short of cash. I have a total of $2400 still outstanding that hard to collect from these people.


      When monies are entrusted to a person to do something specific, like purchasing a vehicle from overseas and ‘…no vehicle is delivered and no monies are returned on demand,’ there is a reasonable presumption that the person had used the money for his own purpose.

      This crime is called ‘…Fraudulent Conversion.’

      Thus, when it was reported that the accused was entrusted with certain sums of money to purchase land and ‘…there was neither land nor money,’ that crime will have been committed.

      If you were so deceived or tricked that a fact existed, had to clear a barrel at the Port and you had loan the deceiver, trickster or fraudster your money and later you learn that there was no barrel to clear, the fraudster would have committed the crime ‘…Obtaining Money Under False Pretenses.’

      You would have parted only with possession of the money, but retained ‘…OWNERSHIP’ of it.

      It is still your money, and you could say ‘…It’s my money and I want it now.’

      If you did not get it back on demand, then the police upon you making a report, are duty-bound to take appropriate action. They do not investigate loans- only crime.

  3. ANR reminds of bargain center Perry bay.

    All I see is court news and government releases.

    Something has changed.


  5. If she repaid, she repaid, why then the person still pursue her to court???? Maybe the smaddy jealous she living free and being a testimony to all around her and they not doing cranna but to be bitter.
    Petra you got this!!!!!

    So you are telling me that if you help out somebody with a loan and it nah pay back in agreed time but it still pay back nevertheless, you can tek dem a court? Ok well a da whole a Antigua/Barbuda from da GG to da PM to the pickney dat jus born wearing borrowed blanket go haffu dey inna court. Case close.


      YES, but only civilly.

      A loan is not a crime committed; only a debt owed.

      But you can pray the Lord’s Prayer. Do not have to file a law suit.

      Believe some part says, ‘…forgive us our trespasses and trespassers against us too.’

      The Lord will bless you.

  6. This is mind boggling. She borrowed money from someone and didn’t pay it back on time because things didn’t work out as planned. So she was taken to court out of anger. She has fully repaid the loan now, so what is the issue? It sounds as though it’s another case of cynical society. Rather than understand that the situation wasn’t intentional, we think that she should be punished when no money is owed. I hope common sense prevails.

    • The money was obviously repaid after the court hearing started and hence was already out of the control of the lender. It’s not a case where she narrowed money and just repaid it late, observe the charge stated – under false pretence. It is just unfortunate and I hope the best comes out of it.

    • Pre-payment is not the problem. The problem is she defrauded the man out of $245,000! Go to any bank, and you will need to provide collateral (ex: land) and a binder of documentation. He gave her without constraints. And yet she failed to re-pay on the her proposed date. Suppose this man had intentions for his $245k, say, a week after her proposed date for a large investment? He would have lost his opportunity because she failed to provide this money?

      It’s not just about the re-payment. It’s pain and suffering as well, and other associated affects.

  7. Tell them you suffer from post-partum psychosis / depression at the time of the incident…….

  8. Hmmm… I wonder if the lender was a former employer or more. There must have been a level of relationship to lend that amount.

    Sounds like friend ship wreck.

  9. Which part of this are you people not understanding? She took the persons money with no intention of paying it back (in the time frame that she stated) and pleaded guilty to that charge!

    For all you know, she could have paid it back last week… 10 years after saying she would!

    Imagine you help someone out in their hour of need and they treat you like this!

    Funny how people ‘volunteer’ when they think they might be locked up!

  10. Antigua News Room is not giving us the complete story.She was arrested in this matter and charged.Go back and look at the charges and see for yourselves.In my opinion when you tried to defraud anyone.This is what could happen to you.When you get caught by law enforcers.
    There is a Politician/Cabinet Minister.Who held his client money for a very long period of time.On the day of the case.He met the client and her lawyer on the steps of the Court and paid her those funds.I think it was US$750,000.So some like to hold on to other people money.

  11. For that amount of money there must have been some documentation stating the terms of the loan- in this particular case,it said,the promise was made to repay after obtaining a loan from a bank and the sale of lands,it turned out that both did not exist,so it would be fair to say,the money was obtained deceitfully.However if the money is repaid,i cannot see anything further happening,its not like she took the money un-knowingly by signing false documents.. Sad that it had to reach this far ,hope she can get past the stigma,our small societies isn’t very kind to these sort of things..

  12. When the crime is committed by a dear friend you all make all kind of excuses for them….Maybe she repaid while the case was pending that was 10 yrs ago so she had enough time, anyone would have done the same thing $245.000.Is not pocket change.

    • “When the crime is committed by a dear friend you all make all kind of excuses for them…”

      That’s how we are as human beings. Same thing with the two Willikies police officers who were charged for stealing from Costco in CT. Apparently they are both back on the job.

  13. I think that this 47year old woman needs to see a psychiatrist. There is no shame in doing this, some might even say it is a slap on the wrist solution, but it is what is needed.

  14. Creditors, banks and lenders always take risk for non-payment, that is why they charge high interest rates and fees in the first place – lenders are never sweet angels. Going to the courts via criminal charges because of loan non-repayment seems a bit weird, and frankly, it seems unconstitutional. Does this mean that everybody in Antigua and Barbuda that doesn’t pay their loan back in the proper time will be thrown into criminal court via state prosecution criminal charges and then ultimately jail?

    This lady should take this case to the ECSC and the Privy Council ASAP, she should not allow this Antigua court to bully her constitutional rights, nor her common law rights. I am so surprised that our courts (and state prosecutors) would do this too her – trying to drag her name through the mud all these years. This seems like an unconstitutional violation via cruel and unusual punishment.

    Yes, she did the wrong thing financially, but I really don’t think it is criminal fraud. This should have been a civil case settled by the courts, and if she violated a civil court order for repayment, then should could be criminally charged. Please Ms., fight this case and do not plea guilty!

  15. What I am understanding for her to get all that one she told lender that she is in the process with some Land deals and also she in a processs to get money from the bank. Which it turns out they are lies so she will pay back in matter if days. Why did ahe waited for the days to come. And the money only paid because the lender take her to court. Who want to go to jail. I wonder if it was someone else you will be hearing all these good thing. In this society is who you know. When the young men in our country make mistake you all crucified them.

  16. The entire discussion is flawed. It was not a loan. Monies were given to perform a transaction. Sale of Land. The seller did not hold her side of the bargain. And after numerous attempts the buyer pursue the matter in court. If you and buy a car online and send them them money and they fail to send you your car, you have to take legal action to get back your money. Business , especially international business is about trust. And when the trust has been broken you go and get your reprieve in the courts. And let me tell you Petra is not the only one guilty of this practice. Without calling names some of our very high in office lawyers have taken monies from people overseas to purchase land and have failed to deliver. And it is a very long process for them to get back their monies. But lawyers know how to stay out of jail. And no other lawyer is taking up the case against another lawyer. Sad but true.

    • True, it’s not like it is 2500k,it is a quarter of a million $$$ ,anyone would want they money back.. Cant think of one person that would take that lightly,people do worse for way less than that amount..Fraud is fraud regardless of who does it..

  17. Look! Just give me the name and number of the lender so I could borrow the same amount ” under true pretences ” there’s no charge for that type of loan.

  18. Imagine there are 31 comments while writing and Duncy Bat aint weigh in yet. Anyway I am betwixed and between being asked if I were to go university whether I should study to be an e-con-omist or a con-artist.

    • Lmao. She is supposed to be an economist, not a financial guru. Isn’t she a member of Rotary or one of those imaginary elitist organizations? The article failed to mention that she is a staunch Anglican. Surely the Dean preaches sermons about being fair and treating others justly.

  19. she only pay back the money because the person took her to court. is that hard to comprehend

  20. I simply hope that Justice prevails. She did plea guilty. She made amends. The monies have been repaid. All parties have suffered. Justice is not only about Penalties and Punishment and Fear. It is also about enforcing Peace. I hope that the injured party has been satisfied. I also believe that the Judge is content that Petra had no intentions of violating the Laws of Antigua & Barbuda and all her actions point towards her as a Citizen who has lawful intentions and who will continue in her pursuits as a good citizen. God Bless Antigua & Barbuda and all its People. Let there be Peace.

    • Lots of our people do not think like you do sir- they love to see ugly, and believe in dragging people down in the gutter. I to hope the court consider that the wrong has been righted, and let the woman move on with her life..

  21. Well well today Listened to Tanny what he had to say about this. And the saying is, what goes around comes around. When you dig a whole for someone make sure you dig two.

  22. Well Lawrd, Are you no see dis yah a wan clear case of FRAUD? pay-back ar not a fraude till.

    Pe-Tra hab wan histary of fraudulant activities (many not documented because of its petty and cover-up nature), dating back since The PM’s first terms in office while he worked at Ministry of Planning. It is alleged that when campaine monies came around fu help point community only dem fren and company use to enjoy de sweet and den dem pocket de ress.

    She was his big VOLUNTEER person and sex-tritary for his constutuency many many years ago. Even Christmas toys fu de community pickney dem fall short because most of de money get pocketed.

    School children also said dat Pe-Tra lub fu use she mouth, good sweet talker and major chatterbox, fu swindle land buyers by selling one plot of land twice/perhaps three times.

    It is also alleged dat she chat soo much and soo lazy she was fired from ABIB bank where she big fren Joan min help she get de job.

    School-children pung melley and say Pe-Tra use to sit dung in a Ministry of Finance in a Buget Office, play solitaire, sweet talk, telk long lunch breaks and share fanny generously to big shots in government fu favours and position until she get oused. Dem she claim fu be wan Economist. Con-Artist she mean. She min a even work as wan so-called consultant fu wan on-line university place pan Corn Alley when she mysteriously get oused again.

    Now she a wan so-called Asvosor to Minuster Chet. Lawd merda. No credibility, amd no stability in any job.

    Pe-Tra tap defaud poor people, you have wan son God finally give you after soo many years of trying.

    Count your blessings and treat people fairly.

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