(Photo Credit: wikipedia.org) Lester Hyman
During a press conference that was held on October 2, Premier and Minister for Finance, Hon. Andrew Fahie while announcing that there is not much that he can say on the matter, confirmed that a filing was made in a US court in relation to former BVI Government Attorney and BVI Airways Director, Lester Hyman.
In noting that he would not comment much on the filing, the Premier told the media, "The matter is in court in the United States of America and out of our legal advice, we are told to refrain from commenting. But I would just like to say that there is no secret that the BVI has an interest in retrieving the $7.2 million, and I will stop at that."
The report of the filing can be interpreted as a fulfillment that was made by both the current and former administration to recoup the money that was invested into the failed airline. In fact, this interest to recoup was alluded to by the Premier when he told reporters, "I don't know if this is how we intend to do so or it's just something that happened along the way, but we have an interest, strong interest, in getting back the tax payers' $7.2 million."
The matter of the filing was mentioned in an Offshore Alert article which also mentioned that the Attorney General was the one who filed. However, much more is not known and the Premier did not offer further details.
Premier Fahie said, "I really can't tell the date, if, when and how its filed. What I do know is that we have lawyers hired because we have interest in getting back the tax payers' $7.2 million."
Previous Article Published October 3, 2019 - Is Gov't Suing Its Former Lawyer And BVI Airways Director?
Offshore Alerts, an investigative financial overseas news media, is reporting that the Government of the Virgin Islands had file a Discovery Application before the court against its former United States Legal Counsel, Lester Hyman, in relation to the BVI Airways deal.
The case is said to mention the $7.2M that Government invested towards the establishment of BVI Airways, which was expected to offer Tortola/Miami flight service. The service never materialized and became a saga, as well as a who is to be blamed and what happened mystery.
Hyman was tied to the BVI Airways matter when he was named as a Director of the defunct airline in an announcement that was made by former Premier, Dr. D. Orlando Smith, during the questions and answers segment of the May 11, 2017 sitting of the House of Assembly.
As months rolled on and questions prevailed, both the former (Dr. Smith) and the current Premier of the Territory, Hon. Andrew Fahie, announced that they were seeking information and were interested in recouping money invested. However, it is not clear which of the administrations are behind the alleged filing.
It is being alleged that the filing was made by the Attorney General of the BVI to the US District Court of Columbia, in an effort to take discovery from Lester Hyman, a Washington, DC-based lawyer.
The publication in reporting on the lawsuit stated that the monies that were paid in relation to the BVI Airways deal was mentioned.
“Claiming a loss of $7.2 million, the BVI Government intends to sue its former 30-year US-based legal representative, Lester Hyman, for suspected self-dealing regarding a failed airline venture to operate flights between the BVI and Miami,” Offshore Alert reported.
The filed application is to take discovery from Hyman, who is said to have "represented the BVI Government in an attorney-client capacity from 1987 to July 30, 2017, as of which date the the BVI Government terminated Mr. Hyman…for use in contemplated legal proceedings in the BVI against Hyman for suspected fraud at equity, breach of fiduciary care and loyalty, and negligence regarding a failed airline venture to operate direct flights between the BVI and Miami,” it was further noted in the media report.