Mar 04, 2016 News
The sentencing date for New York realtor, Guyana-born Edul Ahmad, is facing yet another delay. His lawyer,
Steven Kartagener, has written Judge Dora Irizarry of the Eastern District of New York court, in Brooklyn, asked that the sentencing date be pushed back from March 21st to April 25, 2016.
Kartagener reminded the court that he had in early December requested an adjournment as he was set to undergo a total hip replacement surgery. While back on the job, the lawyer said he is performing limited duties and his post-surgical healing is not progressing as quickly as hoped.
The court is set to decide a new date as prosecutors are not objecting.
Ahmad’s sentencing would come more than three years after he pleaded guilty to a mortgage fraud charge in the US. Prosecutors had managed to use Ahmad as a star witness in a witness tampering case against the businessman’s former friend, ex-Senator, John Sampson. Sampson was found guilty earlier this year.
The sentencing had been delayed for Ahmad, a well-known businessman in both New York and in Guyana, but prosecutors moved in immediately after Sampson was found guilty, instituting proceedings to bring the matter to closure.
In February 2012, Ahmad reportedly wore a wire, recording Sampson during a meeting. In July, he gave testimony during a four-week trial.
Ahmad is well known to tens of thousands of Guyanese living in the New York area, as he was well connected in the Real Estate business.
A former policeman in Guyana, he appeared in a New York court before Judge Irizarry in October 2012 and pleaded guilty 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 defence to the charges against him.
In admitting guilt, Ahmad told Judge 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 said 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.
Ahmad’s attorney had signaled intentions to challenge the financial loss attributed to him.
Prosecutors have advised a term of between 121 and 151 months (10 to approximately 13 years) of imprisonment for Ahmad.
Ahmad’s case has attracted much attention from the media in Guyana and in New York.
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