Another Barbados lawyer buys his way out of criminal charges. A system rotten to the core.

Attorney Alvin David Bryan wouldn’t look at camera.

Three Lessons:

1. No deterrent for the next thief lawyer.
2. Bajan lawyers cover up for their own.
3. Foreign investors and real estate buyers who live overseas are still nothing more than victims-in-waiting for Barbados lawyers.

All that talk by the justice system and the Barbados Bar Association about cleaning up the legal profession is just so much talk. You need look no further than the latest case where Attorney Alvin David Bryan (also called David Alvin Bryan) was charged multiple crimes for stealing over $226,000 from TWO different clients over a long period. At least one of the victims was a foreign investor living over and away.

After being criminally charged, lawyer Bryan paid the money back to the victims and walked a free man. That’s the normal penalty when a lawyer is caught thieving in Barbados: they have to pay back the money and then they can continue to practice law.

One law for the lawyers, and another for the rest of us.

This latest happening is not viewed in isolation by Bajans. It is just one more crooked lawyer set free in a long line of lawyers who misappropriated clients’ money and ended up with no penalty. The stories are legend in Barbados – but true – and they go way back even in our blog archives…

In 1992, lawyer Ezra Alleyne took over $34,000 from a London client to purchase real estate in Barbados. Ha! The poor sucker of a client ended up with no land and no money for years. Alleyne was found guilty of misconduct and promised to repay the money – but didn’t so the poor foreign investor had to go back to begging the Bar Association. Alleyne was disbarred for 3 years, but his lawyer got that tossed so he received no penalty at all. (By the way, Alleyne’s lawyer was none other than Sir David Simmons – who went on to be Attorney General and Chief Justice.)

For the longest time, the Barbados Bar Association has said they come down hard on crooked lawyers: but their actions say something else. When lawyer Mortimer Clarke stole $150,000 from an overseas client, the Barbados Bar Association Disciplinary Committee decided that a reprimand would suffice as penalty!

Then the Barbados Court of Appeal said it was just fine to let Mortimer Clarke continue to practice law…

Barbados Court Of Appeal Says Thief Lawyer Mortimer Clarke OK To Practice Law!

In every civilized jurisdiction in the free world, an attorney who steals a client’s money is at the very least disbarred, never to practice law again. Lawyers who “borrow” (real world word = “steal”) from their trust funds usually end up doing a couple of years in jail.

All over the world, the legal profession and the courts treat theft and misuse of clients’ funds as one of the most serious offenses a lawyer can commit. There is no “gray” area when it comes to the sanctity of monies entrusted to a lawyer. The discipline committees and the courts hammer lawyers for breach of trust involving money because they know that the very credibility of the legal profession is threatened.

… from the BFP story Barbados Bar Association Condones Theft From Clients – And Destroys The Reputation Of Honest Bajan Lawyers

And so the Barbados tradition of setting lawyers free continues with the latest case reported in The Nation about Attorney Alvin David Bryan: Monies repaid, fraud case dropped

We understand why Barbados lawyers and judges can’t be too hard on their own – they never know when they might need a light sentence too!

I can’t recall a lawyer being criminally convicted in Barbados let alone going to jail. Maybe I missed one or two – but they are nothing compared with the normal event of lawyers who steal walking free with no penalty and resuming their “profession”. Bajans know it well that there is a double standard applied for lawyers who steal and ordinary folks who steal.

The justice system and the lawyers shouldn’t bother asking for our respect when this is what they give Barbadians in return.

Article submitted by BFP reader “Chicago”. Edited and expanded by Cliverton.


Filed under Barbados, Corruption, Crime & Law, Ethics, Offshore Investments, Real Estate

29 responses to “Another Barbados lawyer buys his way out of criminal charges. A system rotten to the core.

  1. Cuthbert Canecutter

    Wonder why Barbados Underground en’t cover this? H’mmm

  2. ninemikemike

    Well done BFP for highlighting this disgrace. Thieving lawyers who are protected by a criminal criminal justice system should be openly identified. Perhaps an alphabetical lay bar list of the Island’s lawyers, reading Attorney X – nothing proven, Attorney Y – under investigation, Attorney Z – proven thief, and so on. The public, especially those from overseas who naively expect the Barbados Bar to adhere to internationally accepted standards for their members, must be warned NEVER to leave funds in the hands of these crooks.

    This common thief Alvin Bryan should be shunned, and the Chief Justice ashamed.

  3. ninemikemike

    What is the difference between a dead cat and a dead lawyer on the highway?

    There are skid marks in front of the cat.

  4. Bull Pistle

    Nothing surprising in this article…..

  5. what will they think of next

    Ezra has a long history of taking people’s money and running. That is how he managed to buy that property opposite the new Judicial center.

  6. just saying

    hi, bfp

    I like the banner above about gifts from contractors to government officials.

    There is a growing situation in Barbados which says once it isn’t the law, do it. Many do not care whether it is right or wrong anymore.

  7. Common Sense

    @Cuthbert Canecutter

    Perhaps it’s because he is the son of the owner of one of the local newspapers… you figure out the rest.

  8. Knight of the Long Knives

    We need to have some consequences for this nonsense or it will never end. Further these consequences need to be applied to ALL.

  9. Robert

    He could as well have turned his head and smiled for the camera because he can’t hide in this 2×2.

    Another theifing lawyer bites the dust!

  10. Capt. Nobody

    I heard many stories of Barbados lawyers holding clients money. Who $10,000, someone else $4,000 etc. . My previous lawyer owe me $1,600 bbd…so it is a common practice, nothing new. Shame!! The only way to correct this? Speak out, names out.

  11. Mobert

    Yuh, there is a gentleman that will not allow someone who steals money from clients to keep working.

    Goes by the name of Colt 45.

  12. just saying

    Will this guy be debarred?

  13. just saying

    These are the same lawyers that now want us to turn to a CCJ so they can murder us?

    They can’t deal with themselves, and want to deal with the rest of us? Lord have mercy on the rest of us.

  14. Owing After

    Was this story covered in the Barbados Advocate?

  15. John

    Help me out here.

    If I steal something, which is illegal & a crime. but I get caught & say I’ll give it back, it’s not a crime anymore?

    Have I got that right??

  16. Johnny Postle

    Lawyers do not steal in Barbados they take. Take a look at those who make up the political leadership of this country. The majority are lawyers who have benefitted immensely from taking. They know the system and how to manipulate it. They are also part of a secret order as well. In essence they are untouchable and the only way to touch them is for Barbados to rage war against them. War in the form of not doing any business with any lawyer who has been alleged for embezzlement, fraud or infelicious activity. All the ones who are crooked should be listed on this blog since the nation news have already highlighted they crookery. List them here so they can be disgraced. I will start the list:

    1. Ezra Alleyne- Crooked, rotten to the core

  17. BFP

    Hi John,

    “I get caught & say I’ll give it back, it’s not a crime anymore?”

    Yup, that’s right! But only if you are a lawyer in Barbados. There’s another law for the rest of us.

  18. Johnny Postle

    Aye BFP,

    The only people in Barbados who can give back after stealing is lawyers. Like I said, BFP, lawyers do not steal they take. So its easy to give back what you took because you did not steal it in the first place. You know how tricksy the law language is; especially in Barbados where the laywers have benefitted from bajans lack of never seeking to understand the laws of their land. Lawyers know bajans have an intimidation towards any form of authority; never seemingly challenging anything but prefer to take a docile-passive approach. How you think lawyers and politicians have been able to get away with their deviousness? Check the system and see why judiciary is the way that it is.

  19. Anonymous

    How Lawyers get clients funds to embezzle. Lawyers receive money to be held in trust from one of the following transactions:
    *Property Transaction
    *Collections of Rents and Debts
    *Settlements of some Claims and Personal Injury matters.

    Its all about using the money until they are in a position to put it back. Therefore you will get the delays and excuses coming forth.

  20. NotHappy

    I don’t see what the big deal is, a man selling ackees and he aint gonna cover up the crime for another ackee man?
    These men closer to the law than me and you so if celebrities like Lindsey Lohan and everyone else can get slaps on the wrist and free rides I don’t see why the people that went through the bar and wearing the robes can’t too.

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  26. Overseas Bajan

    Oh Shi*%! What a bloody mess in Bim. I noticed that nobody is calling any female names as thieves. Are the crooked lawyers mainly male? Should I hire a female lawyer when I need one? Years ago, before I left Bim, I hired a school friend who became a lawyer to help me with a land purchase. I had enough money to buy the land cash, because I saved like a dog, sold my car and everything. But he encouraged me to get a loan, and back then loans were 22% interest rate for a single woman,and they wanted to know the color of your panties fore you could get it. So my deal finally went through, and that SOB ( who is now on the bench there) charged me half of the cost of the land, in other words he took almost $10,000 in my hard earned cash as his fee. That is more than 20 years ago. The so and so, never tell me he was charging me, or what his rate was ‘ he offered to do it’ when he heard I was trying to buy a piece of land.Now I went to school with a lot of people who end up lawyers and doctors, and would have chosen someone different if I only knew he was not ‘helping’ but thieving. Dont argue that I should not have expected anything for free. This person never approached it in a business way, nor ever discussed fee. He just said, let me know where the land is, and I will work it out for you, that was when he was sitting down eating food at my table in my apartment, and I had no damn clue what was involved with buying and except to save like a dog to buy it cash. When I went to collect my title papers from the bank’s attorney many years later, that attorney looked over the fee structure and everything to make sure all was in order, and ask some questions. She advised me to file a complaint because she could see I was robbed. But I left it alone, his little short ass sits on the bench sending people to jail and that happened long ago, so I let sleeping dogs lie. But the point is, this crap and thieving has been going on for a long long time.

  27. Anonymous

    Don What Harry Eastmond in Toronto Canada who is a prosecutor for the Ontario Government

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