Oct 11, 2012 News
By Vivian Williams in New York
Appearing visibly shaken, with his voice breaking at times, Ed Ahmad was biting back tears, as he cut his loss and entered a guilty plea in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, in Brooklyn.
He gave his name as Edul Ahmad and informed the court that he is a naturalized American citizen who originates from Guyana, South
America. In the early stages of the case he had advised the court of his strong ties to the then Guyana President Bharrat Jagdeo.
It was exactly 12:08pm on October 10, 2012 when the Guyanese-American businessman sealed his fate, entering a guilty plea to count one of the ten-count criminal complaints against him, and told the court that his attorney has advised him that there is no viable defense to the charges against him.
In admitting guilt, Ahmad told Judge Dora Irizarry that between January 1995 and January 2009, within the Eastern District of New York and elsewhere, together with others, he knowingly and intentionally conspired to defraud several lending institutions, in a mortgage fraud scheme that lasted almost 15 years.
The United States Attorney’s office alleges that Ahmad was part of a scheme that defrauded American lending institutions of approximately US$50 million, obtaining approval for mortgages on various properties by falsifying documents submitted to the lending institutions, using a string of straw buyers, and other illegal practices.
In detailing the allegations against the Queens businessman with strong political connections, Judge Irizarry outlined a scheme which had as its victims NOT only financial institutions, but also many ordinary New Yorkers most of whom were Guyanese immigrants pursuing the American dream to own their own home only to find themselves trapped in a real estate scheme, ultimately resulting in them losing their homes in foreclosure proceedings while Ahmad and his co-conspirators made millions of dollars.
Staring down at the desk in front of him and shifting continuously in his seat, Ahmad spoke clearly into the microphone and told the court that he knew what he was doing was illegal, then cleared a lump or lumps in his throat, fighting hard to maintain his composure.
Defense attorney Steven R. Kartagener told the court that his client was nervous. Immediately, Judge Irizzary advised that he should take his time and ensure that his plea is knowingly and intelligently given. She then reminded the defendant that the charge for which he was entering a plea carries a maximum of 30 years in prison.
Before Ahmad entered his plea, Judge Irizzary informed him that his guilty plea would mean that he would be faced with a mandatory US$500,000 criminal forfeiture, a fine that is double the gross monetary loss caused by his conduct, and restitution.
The government has pegged the momentary loss at US$14 million which means that Ahmad would face a criminal fine of US$28 million in addition to US$14 million in restitution, exposing him to monetary penalties in the total amount of US$42.5 million.
Ahmad’s attorney immediately informed the court that his client intends to challenge the financial loss attributed to him, setting the stage for further litigation on this issue before sentencing.
While the offence that Ahmad pleaded guilty to carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years, the Federal Sentencing Guidelines will determine exactly how much of the 30 years he is actually sentenced to.
Judge Irizzary invited submissions from the prosecution and the defense as to where Ahmad would stand when the Sentencing Guidelines are applied to him. This resulted in U.S. Attorney Alexander A. Solomon advising the court that a term of between 121 and 151 months (10 to approximately 13 years) of imprisonment is the range that is applicable to Ahmad.
He cited various factors. The defence did NOT challenge the application of the Sentencing Guidelines by the U.S. Attorney, only stating that it intends to challenge the amount of financial loss attributed to Ahmad, hoping that a significant reduction in the financial loss would make a big difference at sentencing, he said.
Ahmad would also be placed on probation for a period that could be up to five years after serving his time.
The court will issue a scheduling order very soon, setting out various timelines to be followed leading up to the sentencing. No date has been fixed for sentencing as yet.
Ahmad’s case has attracted much attention from the media in Guyana and in New York, fueled by his strong political connections in Guyana and the U.S.
Jun 20, 2021National Senior Athletics Championships Kaieteur News – Arinze Chance and Aliyah Abrams did the expected and decimated their rivals to easily win the 400m finals at Athletics Guyana (AG) Senior...
Jun 20, 2021
Jun 20, 2021
Jun 20, 2021
Jun 20, 2021
Jun 19, 2021
By Sir Ronald Sanders More commonality was shown by CARICOM countries in a vote on Tuesday June 15 at the Organisation of... more
Freedom of speech is our core value at Kaieteur News. If the letter/e-mail you sent was not published, and you believe that its contents were not libellous, let us know, please contact us by phone or email.
Feel free to send us your comments and/or criticisms.
Contact: 624-6456; 225-8452; 225-8458; 225-8463; 225-8465; 225-8473 or 225-8491.
Or by Email: [email protected] / [email protected]