Guyana Magistrate drops fraud charges against former government minister

Charges against a former government minister Dr. Jennifer Westford and her administrative assistant Margaret Cummings were dropped when they appeared in court in Georgetown on Friday.

The charge of larceny was dismissed by Principal Magistrate, Judy Latchman who said the charge of 24 counts of larceny by a public officer was “bad in law” because, according to Guyana’s constitution, Westford – a former Minister of Public Service, was not a public officer.

Westford and Cummings were tried for the theft of GUY$639,420,000, belonging to the Government of Guyana, between October 19th, 2011 and April 28th, 2015, while being employed with the former Public Service Ministry. It was alleged that between 2011 and 2015, Westford signed 24 memoranda, amounting to GUY$639,420,000, and sent them to the Permanent Secretary at the then Office of the President to be signed and approved. The money was said to have been requested for activities to be conducted in the 10 administrative regions.

 

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