Premier Andrew Fahie has confirmed reports that the British Virgin Islands government is suing its former attorney Lester Hyman, who is or was a director of the defunct airline, BVI Airways.
“I would say that the matter is in court in the United States of America, and we have been told to refrain from commenting. But, I would just like to say that there is no secret that the BVI has a strong interest in retrieving its $7.2 million,” Premier Fahie said.
Fahie, who is also the Finance Minister, made that statement while was responding to questions about the lawsuit from BVI News on Wednesday.
When asked to state the premise on which government is suing and how much the territory was suing for, Premier only responded by saying, “We have interest in getting back out $7.2 million”.
Breach of trust and fraud?
The matter was first reported by investigative financial news publisher, Offshore Alerts media.
According to Offshore Alerts, what is known as a ‘discovery application’ was filed before the District Court of Columbia in relation to the aforementioned sum that was paid into the now-defunct airline.
The report said government is accusing Hyman — who reportedly served as a legal representative for the territory between 1987 to July 2017 — of “fraud at equity, breach of fiduciary care (trust) and loyalty, and negligence” in relation to the ‘failed airline venture’.
Attorney General is reported to have filed the lawsuit against Hyman — who is based in the United States — last month.
The airline scandal
BVI Airways received a total sum of $7.2 million from the former NDP government to commence direct flights between the BVI and Miami in the USA.
However, the airline later laid off its staff; claiming that it needed more money to fly. The funds have not been recouped.
The botched airline deal has been perceived to be the single greatest scandal to hit the former Smith administration.
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