Convicted: Lorraine Smith and Audra-Ann Bean. *File photo by Kageaki Smith
Convicted: Lorraine Smith and Audra-Ann Bean. *File photo by Kageaki Smith

THURSDAY, APRIL 26, 10PM UPDATE: Lorraine Smith and Audra-Ann Bean stared straight ahead as they were convicted of financially exploiting their grandmother and emptying nearly $500,000 from her bank accounts.

The sisters showed no emotion as they were remanded into custody, nor when they entered the prison van today at Supreme Court.

Puisne Judge Carlisle Greaves told them to expect a prison term when they are sentenced.

It took a two-man, ten-woman jury seven hours to convict Smith, 46 and Bean, 44.

Together, they stole $492,580 from their grandmother, Lenice Tucker, 87, between July 15, 2010 and January 13, 2011.

Both Smith and Bean were jointly convicted of financially exploiting Ms Tucker and stealing $456,885 from her.

Smith was convicted of stealing $28,695 by herself and was acquitted of taking $1,000.

Bean was convicted of pocketing $7,000.

During the trial, the court heard Ms Tucker inherited some $540,000 from her sister Lesseline when she died in July, 2010.

Before she passed, Lesseline added Ms Tucker to her bank accounts.

Days after her death, Smith, a mother-of-four and Bean, a mother-of-one, took Ms Tucker to HSBC and Butterfield Bank under the impression that she would be signing up for a debit card on July 20.

Instead, they opened new bank accounts at both banks in all three names.

On October 8, Smith and Bean moved $354,380 from the HSBC account and $102,504 into two new accounts in their names only.

Smith and Bean, both Seventh-Day Adventists, left Ms Tucker with $200. 

During the trial, Ms Tucker, known as ‘Len’, gave evidence and told the jury she never gave her granddaughters permission to use any of her money nor did they ask her permission to use it.

She told the court Smith was her favourite granddaughter and she might have given her money, but not a large amount.

Ms Tucker also told the jury it wasn’t her intention to add her granddaughters to her bank accounts.

The sisters claimed they had permission from their grandmother to use the money for rent, bills, school fees and more.

During the trial, both Smith and Bean claimed they moved the money from Ms Tucker’s bank accounts to deter their drug-addict father Ivan Bean.

They also said a man called Kelly said Lesseline had left money for him in her will.

Smith and Bean claimed they were concerned about him trying to get money from the accounts.

After the verdicts came in, Mr Greaves remanded both women into custody despite a bail application from their lawyer Larry Mussenden.

The judge ordered social inquiry reports on both women.

Outside the courtroom, Mr Mussenden said: “We have always maintained that the funds were in the bank account and they acted on advice from the lawyers.

“My clients are making every step to have the funds which they have always said belonged to their grandmother repatriated forthwith to Ms Tucker.

“It had been frozen by the Crown. There’s no objection by them on returning that money. We were of the view that the jury would find them not guilty.”

The matter will be mentioned in the June 1 arraignments.