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Feb 23, 2016

BTL & Mek Mi Rich Lose Landmark Case

Telecommunications giant B.T.L. colluded with registered game show company Mek Mi Rich to steal entrepreneur Curtis Swasey’s concept and use it as their own. That’s the bombshell handed down by Justice Courtney Abel in a decision which took more than an hour to read. In a nutshell – in 2012 Swasey signed an agreement with B.T.L. in which he gave them his idea for a lottery texting game show. He also provided expert I.T. services and services to B.T.L. with the understanding, he alleged, that they would launch this show together. About halfway through that period, B.T.L. claims they started to entertain a similar idea from a company which would become M.M.R., with directors Andre Vega and Sanjay Hotchandani. So fast-forward to 2014 when BTL basically told Swasey thanks but no thanks…don’t call us we’ll call you. A couple months after, MMR comes up with its revolutionary lottery texting show – Mek Mi Rich. Attorneys for B.T.L. and M.M.R. argued long and hard, but after final submissions today Justice Abel launched straight into his decision. News Five’s Mike Rudon was in Court this morning and has the story. 


Mike Rudon, Reporting

Upon emerging from the Courtroom just before one this afternoon, attorney for Mek Mi Rich Naima Barrow did not mince words. She expressed that the decision for the claimant, Curtis Swasey, is clearly not a decision with which she is comfortable, and she cannot say justice has been done. On a multitude of points including the breach of confidentiality and the sharing of proprietary information, the Judge claimed that he was not persuaded by the case put forward by BTL and MMR.


Naima Barrow

Naima Barrow, Attorney for MMR

“It is a clear out victory, a clear out victory. Everything that he has claimed has been awarded to him, including costs. He is in a good place sitting down which is why I think I am so uncomfortable with where we are now.”


Kareem Musa

Kareem Musa, Attorney for Curtis Swasey

“He took on the giants and he came out victorious today. I am very proud of him for taking a stand because from the very moment I met Mr. Swasey I knew for a fact that he had been wronged and it was just a matter of taking him before the Courts and presenting the evidence to prove that in fact over the course of two and a half years BTL manipulated and actually extracted information from Mr. Swasey and then thereafter shared that information with Mek Mi Rich. So today is vindication. It’s a huge victory and I am proud of Mr. Swasey for stepping forward.”


Justice Abel made it clear that he did not believe the submission that MMR’s principals had just come up with the lottery gaming idea – coincidentally near the same time as Swasey. He found that the non-disclosure agreement between BTL and Swasey was binding, and was breached by BTL. He also expressed that he was satisfied that MMR was aware that the lottery texting idea was someone else’s pushed to BTL as a business concept.


Magali Perdomo, Attorney for BTL

Magali Perdomo

“BTL’s position has always been and it has been in this case is that BTL’s discussions with any other client is different from any other NDA with Mr. Swasey. You can have an NDA and you can still discuss other projects which do not touch on and concern on the same material. And that was our position here.”


Naima Barrow

“The law is clear. I think we are agreed on the law. As to the evaluation of the evidence we are disagreed on. I think in essence what the Judge found was that there was some shady business happening between BTL and MMR because months after BTL’s dealing with the claimant ended MMR’s business started. Our case was that they had been in discussions for over a year, so that it was not an instantaneous thing, an immediate thing. The Judge never put much weight in it. It’s just a matter of that…that the Judge found that he was not satisfied that the dealings were above board. The word he used I think is ‘shady,’ so that is his interpretation of the evidence given to him. It is his right as the Judge to assess that evidence. His assessment I don’t agree with but that is where we are.”


So the Judge found that the concept behind the Mek Mi Rich game show was Swasey’s, basically stolen by the parties and hyped as their own. What does that mean for the show which has been off-air for some time now?


Naima Barrow

“MMR remains a company legally existing in law. They are not operating as the public knows. The game is not operating. My understanding is that they are doing some revamping to come back, so it is a matter of practical consideration for them whether or not the time and cost involved in appealing is something that they will take on. I have no instructions on that matter as yet.”



“In terms of revamping is it anything that the claimant can bring back if they revamp but still use basically what the Judge says belongs to Swasey?”


Naima Barrow

“Yes! There has been no injunction sought and that is the curious thing. There was nothing done to stop the use of this concept that Mr. Swasey says belongs to him. What he wanted was money and what he got was money. There is nothing that has stopped it from happening so there’s absolutely nothing stopping them.”


Kareem Musa

“The learned Trial Judge clearly found that BTL and MMR used Mr. Swasey’s concept and information so on that basis any move forward by MMR and BTL no doubt we will pursue our remedies and an injunction is one of them.”


That’s what the attorneys will have to figure out, while Swasey tries to deal with what Justice Abel almost apologetically called a Pyrrhic victory. Mike Rudon reporting for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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