Ed Ahmad squeals on NY Senator —say court watchers
..Feds mount probe
The feds have launched a criminal probe of former State Senate Democratic Majority Leader, John Sampson, of Brooklyn, The Post has learned.
The inquiry focusing on Sampson’s campaign fund-raising stems from a broader federal probe into Queens Democratic Congressman, Gregory Meeks, sources said.
Shady real-estate broker, Edul Ahmad, is the common link that drew the feds from Meeks to Sampson, said sources familiar with the investigation.
Ahmad was embroiled in a congressional ethics probe for giving Meeks a secret $40,000 loan believed to have been a gift.
State Sen. John Sampson is now being targeted by federal investigators, whose probe into Rep. Gregory Meeks over dealings with real-estate broker Edul Ahmad led to Sampson.
More important, Ahmad pleaded guilty in October in a separate, $14 million mortgage-fraud scheme.
But his sentencing date has not been scheduled and the defendant is now cooperating with the feds and possibly singing about Meeks and Sampson, sources said.
They also said that he has been singing about his relationship with former President Bharrat Jagdeo and some of his close associates.
However, details of what he has been telling the Feds are not being released at this time.
Like Meeks, Sampson has strong ties to Ahmad. Sampson was Ahmad’s lawyer in real-estate dealings and even got into hot water over that representation.
The New York Department of State, which licenses real-estate brokers and other corporations, admonished Sampson for notarizing a statement by one of Ahmad’s workers without a valid notary licence, which had lapsed.
Details were sketchy about what the federal probers were looking for in Sampson’s campaign records.
Ahmad was a Sampson donor, contributing at least $2,000 to the senator’s campaign kitty, records show.
FBI spokesman, Martin Feely, said that he could neither confirm nor deny the existence of an investigation into Sampson or Meeks.
Sampson was questioned by two FBI agents who stopped him by surprise on a Brooklyn street outside his gym late last summer, sources told The Post.
A source familiar with the case said that the agents initially could have been looking to flip Sampson and get him to cooperate against Meeks or even a target of some other investigation.
Either way, “they’re definitely looking at him,” the source said. “They’ve been interested in him for a while.”
Sampson has repeatedly declined Post requests for comment.
Through a spokesman, he declined to comment this week when asked again about the probe.
The feds continue to probe Meeks even though the House Ethics Committee cleared him for failing for two years to report a $40,000 loan from Ahmad that appeared to have been an interest-free gift.
The panel last month concluded that Meeks’ inaction was “inadvertent” and declined to rule on whether the loan was in fact a gift.
The revelation of the federal probe into Sampson comes two weeks after he was dumped as the Senate’s Democratic leader in a 19-6 vote. He was replaced by Sen. Andrea Stewart-Cousins of Westchester.
It’s not the first time Sampson has been in investigators’ cross hairs.
A bombshell report by the state inspector general in 2010 slammed Sampson for tainting the bidding process in the award of a contract to run the Aqueduct casino in Queens.
Sampson, then the majority leader, was fingered for leaking a confidential bidding document to the lobbyist for the politically connected firm AEG, which subsequently won the contract.
The state yanked the billion-dollar contract from AEG when the Inspector General’s Office launched its probe.
Sampson claimed the bidding document was public information and he insisted he did nothing wrong.
Critics branded Sampson a weak and in effective Senate leader and said the ethical transgressions played a role in the Democrats losing the majority two years ago.
Ahmad faces more than 10 years in the slammer for submitting bogus information on mortgage applications to lenders and using straw buyers to hide his role in the scam.
He also faces more than $15 million in fines and restitution.
When he pleaded guilty during his last court appearance he denied that he had stolen US$14 million. His lawyer argued that the amount of loss by the people whom Ahmad defrauded was less than US$14 million.
To this Judge Dora Irizarry postponed sentencing and directed him to calculate how much he stole from the people and return to court in March to inform the court.