…two weeks for defense to present evidence
The trial involving Edul Ahmad, a close friends of former President Bharrat Jagdeo,
will commence immediately after the jury selection is completed in a New York Court.
This is according to official court documents which stated that the jury selection process is set to begin on May 21, 2012. Jury selection will be conducted by a randomly assigned judge.
It was stated that neither party anticipates filing motions in limine.
The US Government’s case will take approximately two weeks to present with the defense requiring approximately one week.
A final pre-trial conference has been arranged for just prior to the jury selection process and should be held on May 16.
The most recent pre-trial conference was held before Judge Dora Irizarry on February 24.
Judge Irizarry is the official who presided over the Shaheed ‘Roger’ Khan trial, and who sentenced Peter Morgan, Abdul Kadir and the others involved in the JFK terror plot. She was also the sentencing judge in cases involving a plethora of other Guyanese accused of various offences in the US.
The status conferences being held in relation to Ahmad revolve around plea bargaining negotiations involving the accused and the US Government.
As it relates to the length of time being taken on the Plea Bargaining negotiations, one US lawyer had opined, “That’s a lot of time to negotiate a plea…The Feds must think there are bigger fish they can catch.”
Ahmad was arrested last July on charges of operating a US$50M mortgage-fraud scheme in Queens, New York. He faces a maximum of 30 years in jail. He is currently out on US$2.5M bail.
Three alleged co-conspirators — Ahmad’s cricket pals and employees — were also indicted in an associated case, court records show.
Queens-based brokers Qayaam Farrouq, Mohamed Gurmohamed and Steve Massiah were charged with defrauding banks and mortgage companies by falsifying mortgage-loan applications to make borrowers appear more creditworthy to financial institutions, court records show.
The US prosecutors through official court documents filed on October 31, last, gave notice that it is seeking forfeiture of a money judgment — a sum of money in United States currency in an amount to be determined at his sentencing. They are also looking to have forfeited, specific properties namely, “Real Property and Premises known as, 110-19 Atlantic Avenue, Jamaica, New York, identified on the Queens County Tax Map as Block: 9317; Lot 21, and title to which was held in the name of defendant Edul N. Ahmad, on or before May 1, 2011.”
Ahmad was a frequent visitor to Guyana and is known in the country as a friend of Jagdeo.
In 2009, the Ahmad Group sent 29 tons of building supplies – including roof tiles and kitchen sinks – to Jagdeo at State House in Georgetown, according to shipping records.
Allegations of predatory lending, forged documentation, falsified mortgage information and missing records have dogged Ahmad for years.
US State officials have investigated the real estate broker five times since 2006, referring two of those probes to the Queens District Attorney’s Office for review, according to State Department of State records.
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