The PPP this evening said that New York-based businessman Ed Ahmad who was charged by the US FBI with mortgage fraud has not made any financial contributions to the PPP/C’s 2011 political campaign “nor can he be considered in any way part of the PPP structure or the PPP/C Government”.
The statement came following media reports on Ahmad’s arrest on Friday in New York and his subsequent release on a bond of US$2.5M and responded in particular that appeared in today’s edition of the online publication Demerara Waves.
Said the PPP: “The People’s Progressive Party has once again noticed that the Demerara Waves website has now openly joined ranks with the pro-opposition media in their continuing onslaught against the PPP and PPP/C Government by spreading falsehoods and misinformation.
“The latest case in point regards its story captioned `PPP associate ensnared in New York straw mortgage deals; being electronically monitored’, which portrays New York-based Guyanese Ed Ahmad as a financier and operative of the PPP. Similar suggestions were also made by the ‘anti-PPP’ publications Kaieteur and Stabroek News.
“The nasty attempts to link Ahmad’s activities with the PPP or to suggest that he is a financier of the PPP are nothing but absolute lies.
“While we can excuse the Kaieteur News, whose editor Adam Harris is the former editor of the now defunct PNC’s New Nation and the Stabroek News which has clearly made its anti-PPP/C credentials known; the attempts by the Demerara Waves to portray itself as balanced has been dislodged by this latest piece of mischievous reporting.
“The PPP wishes to make it absolutely clear that Ahmad has not made any financial contributions to the PPP/C’s 2011 political campaign nor can he be considered in any way part of the PPP structure or the PPP/C Government.
“The party calls on all to note that Kaieteur News and Stabroek News have now officially enlisted the Demerara Waves into their pro-opposition media fold”, the statement read.
The Stabroek News report pointed out that Ahmad had set up a hardware business at the Industrial Site premises of the Mirror Newspaper and that he had cultivated close ties with several members of the PPP/C. The report did not suggest that Ahmad was a financier and operative of the PPP as contended in the statement this evening by the PPP.
Ahmad in recent months has been relocating his business toGuyanafromNew Yorkamid reports that he faced legal troubles in theUS.
Ahmad also came under scrutiny in relation to a US$40,000 loan made over three years ago to NY Congressman Ed Meeks. That transaction also brought Meeks under the scrutiny of ethics committees.
A New York Daily News report on Saturday had said that Ahmad was hit with a criminal complaint alleging that he conducted an extensive scheme to commit mortgage fraud, regularly lying about applicants’ income and using straw buyers to hide his involvement.
His lawyer, Steven Kartaganer, declined to discuss whether Ahmad was in
discussions with the FBI and the Brooklyn U.S. attorney before his
Questions had been raised as to why the Mirror – semi official organ of the PPP – would rent its premises to him given the questions that had been raised about him in theUS.
Last year, the New York Daily News had reported that a government watchdog group had asked the Office of Congressional Ethics to probe the US$40,000 loan Meeks received from Ahmad.
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) asked for the review following a series of Daily News articles about the loan. Meeks publicly disclosed the January 2007 loan for the first time in May, 2010.
He acknowledged he had failed to properly report the loan on House disclosure forms the previous two years, calling it an “oversight.”
The Daily News later reported that Meeks repaid the loan shortly after the FBI started asking Ahmad, originally from theWest Demerara, about the money he lent to the congressman. Sources say the loan had no interest rate, no collateral, no repayment schedule and no due date. Meeks said that there was a 12.5% interest rate on the loan.
A complaint filed by CREW accused Meeks of violating House ethics rules by failing to properly report the loan or get required approval before accepting it. The letter calls the loan an improper gift.