Log In

Reset Password

Police to look at judgment against lawyer in $52,000 unpaid stamp duty case

Police confirmed yesterday that they will look into the case of a senior government lawyer who failed to pay $52,000 in stamp duty for clients after a Supreme Court judgment against him.

A police spokesman said that the Commissioner of Police had received a copy of a judgment involving Myron Simmons, a senior Crown counsel in the Attorney-General’s Chambers, after Puisne Judge Larry Mussenden raised concerns about the case.

The spokesman added: “The matter has been assigned for review and follow-up.”

Mr Simmons admitted in a consent judgment signed last month that in 2011 — while trading as Lightbourne & Simmons — he had been given $52,000 by Gena and Richard Robinson to cover stamp duty for the conveyancing of a house.

But the two found out in 2019 that the property had not been put in their names because the stamp duty was never paid.

Mr Simmons, the husband of Kathy Lynn Simmons, the Attorney-General, agreed to pay back the sum along with more than $18,000 in interest in a consent judgment.

Mr Justice Mussenden accepted the consent judgment, but said the statement of claim set out “very serious” allegations and ordered that the judgment be sent to the police, the Bermuda Bar Association and the Director of Public Prosecutions “for any action as appropriate in all the circumstances”.

Mr Simmons told The Royal Gazette that he had already explained what had happened to the Robinsons and that he did not know how Mr Justice Mussenden had reached his decision without hearing arguments.

The Government and the Bermuda Bar Association did not respond to a request for comment.

Scott Pearman, the shadow legal affairs minister, said yesterday that he hoped the matter would dealt with quickly and in a transparent manner.

He said: “The Opposition firmly supports the principle that everyone is innocent until proven guilty.

“Equally, government Crown counsel must maintain the highest ethical standards and be above reproach.”

He said that the incident was of concern and had probably caused the Robinsons distress, but emphasised that there could be a reasonable explanation.

Mr Pearman said: “Any allegation as to the reasons why Mr Simmons did not pay the money as he was directed by the clients must be fairly and properly considered.

“A Supreme Court judge has referred the matter to the police and also for potential prosecution by the Director of Public Prosecutions.

“The matter has also been referred to the Bar Association professional conduct committee.”

Mr Pearman said: “It is proper to await the outcome of any further judicial process, which we hope will be transparent and swift so that the public can have faith in the judicial system.”

It is The Royal Gazette’s policy not to allow comments on stories regarding court cases. As we are legally liable for any libellous or defamatory comments made on our website, this move is for our protection as well as that of our readers.