Ed Ahmad faces over 10 years in jail, US$14M restitution -report
Following his guilty plea to mortgage fraud conspiracy in New York, Guyanese businessman Ed Ahmad faces over 10 years in jail and US$15M in restitution and fines, according to today’s edition of the New York Daily News.
The report said that Ahmad faces not only a lengthy prison sentence but financial disaster: up to a US$1 million fine, US$500,000 in forfeiture, and US$14 million in restitution.
He remains free on US$2.5 million bail.
Wearing a dark blue suit, the former Guyanese police officer responded to Judge Dora Irizarry’s questions with crisp answers.
“I know what I was doing was illegal,” he said, according to the New York Daily News.
New York media have been interested in the case because of Ahmad’s connections with NY Rep. Gregory Meeks.
The Daily News had uncovered a US$40,000 “loan” from Ahmad to Meeks, which was not listed on the Queens Democrat’s financial disclosure forms in 2007 and 2008.
Meeks later admitted that the “handshake” loan was not recorded, had no specified interest rate, and he made no payments for more than three years.
Sources said Meeks obtained the loan from Ahmad to help pay for the massive stucco mansion the politician purchased for US$830,000 in 2006.
Today’s Daily News said that a report by the Office of Congressional Ethics concluded that Meeks may have violated federal law by hiding what appeared to be a “gift.”
Defense attorney Steven Kartaganer declined to comment on the loan or Ahmad’s guilty plea.
“With regard to the Ethics Committee, as I have said in the past, I have cooperated fully with the committee and expect to be treated fairly,” said Meeks, according to the Daily News. “I hope the committee completes its process sooner rather than later.”
The Daily News said that Meeks stood by his old friend in a statement: “My thoughts and prayers are with those who were affected by these crimes, and with Ed and his family.”