Georgetown, Guyana (July 29th 2015):-Former Public Service Minister, Dr. Jennifer Westford appeared in the Georgetown Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday July, 29, slapped with four counts of attempted larceny. The charges which were recommended by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Shalimar Ali-Hack were brought against her after she sought to transfer eight vehicles, property of the State, to four persons, following the 2015 regional and general elections.
Westford appeared before Acting Chief Magistrate Ann McLennan, where it was alleged that between July 17, 2014 and June 23, 2015, the former People’s Progressive Party Minister, attempted to transfer the vehicles to four persons namely; her husband Gary Beaton, Osbert McPherson, Wayne Walker and Delroy Lewis.
She was represented by a battery of lawyers; Eusi Anderson, Keisha Chase, Dexter Todd and Bibi Shaddick. The matter was adjourned to August 10 and Westford was released on $200,000 bail for each of the charges.
Meanwhile, Westford’s assistant, Margaret Cummings was also charged for attempting to transfer State vehicles. It was stated that between July 18, 2014 and April 15, 2015, Cummings with intent to defraud the State, forged a certain document purported to be a receipt in the name of Delroy Lewis, Gary Beaton, Jennifer Westford and Wayne Walker.
Cummings pleaded not guilty to the charges and was released on $300,000 bail for each of the four charges. Cummings will also return to court on August 10.
Earlier this year documents surfaced which showed that a request was made to Khurshid Sattaur, the Commissioner General of the Guyana Revenue Authority (GRA), for the transfer of registration for eight vehicles to Westford, McPherson, Walker, Lewis and Beaton.
According to the letter, two vehicle registration transfers for Walker were sought; one for Lewis; one for Westford; three for Beaton and one for McPherson.
The letter was signed by Margaret Cummings for Hydar Ally, the Ministry’s Permanent Secretary and the receipts were backdated to give the impression that monies were collected for the sale of the high end vehicles.
The letter was apparently prepared one month before the general elections but was only dispatched to the GRA on the first working day after President David Granger was sworn in.