A senior civil servant testified Monday that he would not have authorized the former president of the University College of the Cayman Islands, Hassan Syed, to alter an invoice.
Syed acknowledged in his evidence last week during his trial that he had created a false invoice from Lominger Limited Inc., a company connected to the project to set up a Civil Service College in the Cayman Islands. But he claimed he did so after consulting with Peter Gough, who at the time was the chief officer in the government’s Portfolio of Civil Service.
The portfolio partnered with UCCI to set up the civil service college in 2007, and Lominger was contracted to provide a human resources “product” for the project.
Syed suggested an invoice from Lominger was deliberately inflated by $100,000 with Mr. Gough’s consent as a means to cover other expenses incurred by the college as part of the project.
Called by the Crown as a late witness on Monday, Mr. Gough said he would not have asked Syed to alter an invoice.
He said he was aware that UCCI had been paid $152,000, but did not recollect if the payment went through him or not.
He said he could not recall how the payments had been handled or if he had dealt with the invoices personally.
Asked by prosecutor Patrick Moran if he would have approved the inflation of an invoice, he said, “I certainly would not have had discussions on that basis and I certainly wouldn’t have given any authority to alter an invoice.”
Asked why not, he said, “It’s wrong to do that.”
Syed is accused of dishonestly obtaining money transfers worth more than $70,000 from UCCI by falsely representing that he had made payments to Lominger.
He is said to have submitted false invoices to the Portfolio of Civil Service to secure payments to UCCI and then claimed some of the money back from the college.
Cayman Compass journalist James Whittaker contributed to this story.