The United States District Court of Columbia has granted the BVI government’s request for its former attorney, Lester Hyman to turn over government’s client file with BVI Airways.
Government had applied to the US court to get the file while it contemplates bringing a civil action lawsuit against Hyman, who it accuses of fraud in equity, breach of fiduciary care and loyalty, and negligence.
According to the document outlining the US court’s ruling, government had uncovered that BVI Airways paid Hyman a “secret $200,000 finder’s fee” for brokering the flopped $7.2 million deal with the airline. Hyman did not disclose any of this information to government, the court document cited.
“After the BVI government terminated Mr Hyman, he attempted to recharacterize his role from that of attorney to that of ‘honest mediator’, but he later admitted to working on both sides of the transaction,” the court document said while giving a background of the case.
Because of the preceding, government sought the US court’s help to get its client file so that it “may better support its claim against Mr Hyman”.
What government wanted specifically
Specifically, government wanted Hyman to produce copies of every related document from the time it first hired him in 1987 to present day.
Government also requested the US court serve subpoenas to any bank or financial institution in the District of Columbia (where Hyman resides) that holds or has held a bank account for Hyman since September 2013.
The government requested a similar court order to persons or entities that have prepared Hyman’s taxes and have been in the conduct of Hyman’s computer servers around the same period.
The court’s decision
In its May 23 decision on government’s application, the US court decided to deny all requests for information from persons or entities other than Hyman. This means Hyman must turn over his entire client file for government. But, his banks and any other entities he does business with will not be required to.
This court decision effectively brings government one step closer in its campaign to gather evidence against Hyman with hopes of suing him.
The airline deal
The previous National Democratic Party government had given the airline 7.2 million of taxpayer dollars to commence direct flights between the BVI and Miami in the United States. BVI Airways did not deliver so government is now attempting to recoup the funds.
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