By Natario McKenzie
Tribune Business Reporter
A well-known forensic accountant yesterday lamented what he described as "endemic" corruption in The Bahamas and the refusal to prosecute "fraudsters".
John S Bain, managing partner at UHY Bain and Associates while speaking on the sidelines of an Elder Abuse Symposium held at Grace Community Church yesterday said fraud and corruption was "symptomatic" of the close-knit Bahamian society.
"One of the problems that we have in The Bahamas is that we don't prosecute fraudsters. People do things and we just fire them and ask them to pay the money back. They end up getting another job and do the same thing over again," said Mr Bain.
"I'm involved in a case right now with a local association, whereby the treasurer stole a lot of money and instead of putting her before the courts they allowed her to pay the money back.
"Fraud and crookedness and corruption has been one of the pillars of our society in The Bahamas. Corruption is endemic here. It's not only the poor guy getting a kickback but also the big guy who pays together certain privileges. It's endemic, that's the way things are in The Bahamas."
Mr Bain also noted that financial abuse of the elderly is widespread in The Bahamas. Mr Bain estimated that financial abuse of the elderly amount to "a couple million for sure".
"It happens at financial institutions, persons stealing from loved ones as well as the forging of wills. There are a lot of cases where persons died and all of a sudden the contents that were known to be in the will are no more. All of a sudden one child gets all of the assets," said Mr Bain.