Former Minister on more Fraud Charges but why not the PS?
Fraud charges against former Public Service Minister Jennifer Westford and her personnel assistant Margaret Cummings are mounting.
Today the two were slapped with 24 additional counts of fraud committed between 2011 and 2015.
The women appeared in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court before Magistrate Judy Latchman and were not required to plea since the charges were indictable. They were released on $4.8 million bail each, while the matter has been adjourned for February 22nd.
Westford and Cummings stood in the docks while the 24 charges of fraud were read to them by Magistrate Latchman.
The prosecutors said between 2011 and 2015, the women allegedly stole $639 million from the office of the President. The money according the prosecutor was used for activities in the various regions but based on investigations regional representatives said they knew nothing of the activities.
Making their cases for bail, attorneys for the two asked for reasonable bail given that the women were not flight risks. Senior Counsel Rex McKay said Westford is a part time farmer and Member of Parliament. While Boston said Cummings is the mother of three children ages 1, 3 and 11.
Both attorneys also said their clients are before the courts for other matters and have attended court on all occasions.
The prosecutor in objected to bail.
Magistrate Latchman however granted the women bail in the sum of $200,000 for each of the 24 counts and ordered that they lodge their passports.
Boston who described the charges as “Mickey Mouse” in the court refused to comment further but said his clients are 100% innocent of the charges.
Senior Counsel McKay was asked if he was concerned that Permanent Secretary of the now Ministry of the Presidency is not before the courts charged with his clients.
Both Westford and Cummings are also before the courts charged with attempting to illegally transfer several government owned vehicles.