Foster sues Lutchmedia for disclosing private financial information

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Foster Cummings –

Youth Development and National Service Minister Foster Cummings is calling on UNC Senator Jayanti Lutchmedial to stop what he claims is the misuse of his private and confidential information for his own political gain.

He also wants her to release any private and confidential documents she may have belonging to him.

For the second time in as many weeks, the minister has taken legal action against the UNC senator, accusing her of “relentlessly” tarnishing her name.

In an immediate response, Lutchmedial said ‘the minister would rather spend his time trying to bully me with lawsuits instead of answering the questions posed… It is impossible for us to be happy with an approach’ different shots to different persons “.

“I have the right to raise questions in the public interest.”

She said having worked in the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) and having been trained in anti-money laundering compliance, she was very concerned about what she saw in the documents.

“Many people can relate to the challenges they face when dealing with a financial institution due to all the laws and regulations. Small business owners can’t even open an account,” she added. .

When asked by Cummings’ lawyers that she divulge everything else she had, she said: ‘The Minister seems worried and wants to know what else I have on him.’

Lutchmedial is already facing a defamation lawsuit that Cummings filed last Friday for statements she made at UNC’s Monday Night Forum on May 5, releasing the contents of a Special Branch report on the minister.

Cummings, who is also the MP for La Horquetta/Talparo, is now challenging Lutchmedial’s use of financial records on the same platform on May 16.

She also posted documents on her Facebook page the following day.

His lawyers gave the UNC senator until 1 p.m. Thursday to take down any videos or posts; issue an apology and public retraction; undertake not to repeat statements and make a reasonable offer of compensation for damage to Cummings’ reputation and reputation.

At the Monday evening forum, Lutchmedial raised questions about a public entity paying $1.8 million into a senior government official’s credit union account.

She said the payment was disclosed in a source of funds declaration form. Lutchmedial said the form was leaked, along with two award letters from the public body, as well as the personal identification of a woman involved in the transaction.

The senator said a check from the public body was also discovered and was made payable directly to the credit union. The award letters were addressed to a relative of the public official and were provided to support the claim, Lutchmedia said. She said the prize letters were $1.1 million.

She said the case should attract the attention of the Prime Minister, the Financial Intelligence Unit and the police.

One of Cummings’ attorneys, Jennifer Farah-Tull, said the information was private and confidential, but was released by Lutchmedial with “no regard for how a reasonable person of ordinary sensibilities would feel if they were placed in the same position as our client”.

The lawyer added: ‘You knew the information was private and confidential, but you displayed calculated ignorance in order to advance your selfish political agenda in reckless disregard of the harm it would cause our client and his family. . Your pattern of behavior is malicious and intentional and done with the intent to cause as much harm to our client as possible.

Farah-Tull said the documents referenced by Lutchmedial contained the minister’s home address, national identity card number, date of birth, occupation, telephone number and Venture Credit Union account number. .

“Prior to your verbal release of this information, no attempt was made to validate with our client its content or authenticity. There was no factual determination or appropriate contextual context, merely speculation publicly raised by you- even, to encourage scandal and odiousness.You have deliberately misled and invited members of the public to speculate further on the details of financial transactions between our client and a reputable financial institution.

She also said that Lutchmedial, as a lawyer who also worked with the FIU, should have known that the source of funds document was private and confidential and that such personal information should not have entered the public domain. and be left for public consumption.

“Our client had a reasonable expectation that his personal, private and confidential information between him and his financial institution would remain private.”

She also told Lutchmedial, despite having already been the subject of a defamation suit, that she “still maliciously and falsely made several defamatory statements aimed at our client” and, “it is clear that you have very little respect for the legal process because your actions are now becoming outrageous and dangerous.

Farah-Tull continued: “Our client has since suffered loss and damage from the misuse of his private information. His life and the lives of his family members were put at risk and (it) caused them much fear and anxiety Statements made and materials released were malicious in intent, inaccurate, misleading and a gross misuse of our client’s private information.

Lutchmedial said threats of legal action against her by Cummings will not silence her or stop her from asking questions.

Cummings is represented by a team of lawyers from the law firm Hove and Associates.

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