Guyanese Businessman Ed Ahmad admits guilt and could face 10 years in prison.
As expected, Guyanese-American businessman Ed Ahmad, has admitted that he is guilty in connection with at least one count of a multi-million dollar mortgage and bank fraud indictment in the US. The maximum sentence in this case is 30 years in prison, but the US Government wants him to be jailed for 10-12 years and pay back at least 14 Million US dollars. That sum could double to 28 million as that is what the fine should be. Ahmad’s attorney says, the payback should be much less so the sentence and fine would be less. Negotiations are still on going with the Banks and other lending institutions as to the amount they lost.
The 45-year-old businessman and realtor, who has close connections with the ruling PPP Civic in Guyana and former President, Bharrat Jagdeo, is unlikely to face deportation because he became a naturalized US citizen in 1989. However, Judge Dora Irizarry warned him in Federal Court that if it turns out that he is not a US citizen, his guilty plea could mean deportation.
Ahmad admitted that within the period from 1995 to now, he engaged in unlawful and irregular practices that amounted to conspiracy to defraud lending institutions, including some of the biggest and well known banks in the United States. He told the court in a prepared statement that he knew what he was doing in Queens New York was illegal.
The Presiding Judge Dora Irrizarry accepted the guilty plea and noted the intervention of Ahmad’s attorney that the Guyanese American Businessmen was admitting to some and not all of the things that the Prosecution is saying that he did. His sentencing will not take place for several months, as a probation report has to be compiled and the disagreement over how much money was involved has to be settled.
Ahmad was arrested and removed from a Guyanese-bound airplane on the tarmac at JFK airport by the FBI after a co-conspirator was nabbed in Texas last year.
Ahmad could lose a great deal of his assets to forfeiture orders too. He has lost over half a million US dollars so far to forfeiture. He recently disposed of the West Indian Banquet Hall known as the Chateau Royale in New York. Ahmad acquired several assets in Guyana from the Jagdeo/PPP administration including the property that once served as the headquarters for the ruling party’s newspaper the Mirror and property on the West Demerara. Ahmad sent 29 tons of material in containers to former President Jagdeo for the construction of the President’s seaside chateaux in what is popularly known as Pradoville Two.
Ahmad is a noted cricket supporter in the Tri-state area and has developed and assisted the game. He is banking on his community developments efforts and friendships in the cricketing fraternity to, as his attorney said, ensure that he is seen as a good man who made a mistake in his business transactions.