— stay of execution granted against $20M of original judgment
Justice of Appeal Rishi Persaud yesterday granted a $59M judgment in favour of former Chief Executive Officer of the New Building Society (NBS) Maurice Arjoon.
Arjoon had previously acquired a $79M judgment in the High Court following a wrongful dismissal lawsuit. However, the awarded sum was broken down to the tune of $59,033,000 following hearings in the Appeal Court.
The Appeal Court also placed a stay of execution on $20M of the original judgment.
NBS, through their Attorney, Ashton Chase had appealed the ruling by Justice Brassington Reynolds to award $79M in lost pension and other benefits to Arjoon.
Back in 2007, Arjoon was accused of conspiracy to defraud the NBS of $69M along with Kissoon Baldeo and Kent Vincent. The men were subsequently exonerated of the charges, but claimed that they suffered irreparable harm from the negative publicity and losses of salaries and benefits.
Arjoon had claimed that he and his managers were set up and charged, at the direction of former President Bharrat Jagdeo, after he (Arjoon) refused to sink almost $2B of NBS money into the construction of the Berbice River Bridge.
The CEO claimed that the lending of NBS money in that manner would have been highly illegal, breaching financial laws. NBS later still went ahead, after the men were sacked, and purchased shares in the Berbice River Bridge.
At the time of the charges in 2007, chairing the Board of NBS was Dr. Nanda Gopaul. He later became a Permanent Secretary in the Office of the President under the Jagdeo administration and then the Minister of Labour.
Last July, officials of the defiant mortgage lender, opted to challenge the court‘s ruling instead of pay $79M to Arjoon. In response, Arjoon, who had initially sought damages in excess of $500M in damages and his pension and other benefits, had sought to levy on the movable assets of NBS, and filed the cross appeal claiming an additional $18M from the loan facility. Sanjeev Datadin, and Ganesh Hira and Senior Counsel Edward Luckhoo were on Arjoon’s legal team.
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