New York court recommends minimum security jail for Ed Ahmad

While saying that he has become accustomed to a life of luxury, a New York court has agreed to recommend that Guyanese businessman Ed Ahmad serves his two-year sentence for conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud at a minimum security facility.

Ahmad’s counsel Steven Kartagener had written Judge Dora Irizarry making the request. The  US government was then given an opportunity to reply and gave no view except to say that it wanted Ahmad kept apart from the man he testified against, former New York State Senator John Sampson.

Ed Ahmad

Stating that she could see no basis for preferential treatment to Ahmad, Judge Irizarry had given the US government up to July 20 to state definitively its position on Ahmad’s request to serve his sentence in a minimum security facility. The United States government then responded that it was not opposed to Ahmad serving his two-year prison term at a minimum security facility.

This was communicated to Judge Irizarry in a letter dated July 20. In an order issued on Tuesday, the judge said the “Court disagrees with defense counsel’s assertion that the Defendant’s assignment to a “work cadre” within the MDC (Metropolitan Detention Center) would be onerous for him. Defendant is relatively young at fifty and is relatively healthy. He simply has become accustomed to a life of luxury. Nonetheless, as neither the BOP (Bureau of Prisons) nor the government oppose Defendant’s request, it is granted”.

The court therefore recommended to the BOP that Ahmad be redesignated to a minimum security federal camp to serve his two-year sentence.

Ahmad’s testimony for the US government against his erstwhile friend resulted in Sampson being jailed for five years in January this year. Ahmad’s light sentence in April this year was as a result of his co-operating testimony.

In his letter of June 8 this year to the judge on behalf of Ahmad, Kartagener said “For someone of (the) defendant’s age, 50, this assignment is particularly onerous. I have since learned that the BOP (Bureau of Prisons) will consider re-designation of a defendant assigned to the MDC, but that it requires the willingness of the court to make such a designation”.

Kartagener asked that Ahmad be recommended for re-assignment to a minimum security facility such as Fort Dix, McKeon, Otisville or Lewisberg Camp.

Ahmad was arrested on July 21st, 2011 in New York on a range of charges but later entered a plea agreement with the government and on October 13, 2012 pleaded guilty to bank and wire fraud conspiracy before Judge Irizarry.

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