Ed Ahmad sinks NY State Senator Sampson who planned to “take out” witnesses


Ed Ahmad sinks NY State Senator who planned to “take out” witnesses

Written by New York Daily News  – from Demerara Waves
Tuesday, 07 May 2013 06:02

Brooklyn State Senator John Sampson (center) and his attorney Zachary Carter (right) leave Brooklyn Federal Court on Monday. (New York Daily News photo)

They’ve been charged with taking bribes, lying under oath, even trying to buy their way into office — but until now, there has never been a political corruption case in New York like this.

State Sen. John Sampson was charged Monday with embezzling $440,000 and using some of it to bankroll a bid for one of the highest law enforcement jobs in the city, Brooklyn district attorney. And when he feared getting caught, he told an associate he could track down informants and “take them out,” according to an indictment unsealed Monday May 6, 2013. 

Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch called it “one of the most extreme examples of hubris and arrogance we have ever seen.” She said Sampson even pressed a high school friend working in her office, paralegal Sam Noel, to uncover information that might ease his mounting legal troubles.

For Sampson, 47, it was an incredible fall from grace. He was once one of the most powerful politicians in New York, as Democratic conference leader of the Senate. After surrendering Monday to the FBI, Sampson pleaded not guilty — but he already had incriminated himself, according to the indictment.

In July, when FBI agents questioned Sampson in the driveway of his Flatlands, Brooklyn, home, they told him he was lying. His response was self-destructive. “Not everything I told you was false,” the indictment said.

According to the indictment, Sampson’s crimes began in 1998 when he started embezzling money from foreclosure sales he oversaw as a court-appointed referee. Sampson, a lawyer, then siphoned some of the money into his 2005 Democratic primary campaign against Brooklyn District Attorney Charles Hynes, the indictment said. But Hynes prevailed, beating Sampson, 41% to 37%.

The following year, a worried Sampson got a Queens businessman, Edul Ahmad, to “loan” him $188,500 so he could put some of the money back, prosecutors said. But the loan allegedly had no written terms and Sampson never repaid it.

Things got worse for Sampson in 2011 when Ahmad was arrested on mortgage fraud charges. Worried Ahmad would reveal the secret “loan,” Sampson offered to track down witnesses against Ahmad and “take them out,” the indictment said.

What Sampson didn’t know is that Ahmad was already cooperating with the feds and recorded the conversation.

The FBI later discovered a handwritten list of informants against Ahmad on the desk of Noel, the paralegal who was Sampson’s mole in the U.S. attorney’s office. Noel was fired and is now cooperating with investigators.

Officials said they found no evidence that Sampson ever followed through on his “take them out” threat.

Sampson was charged with embezzlement, obstruction of justice and lying to FBI agents. He was offered a plea deal calling for 36 to 47 months in prison, but entered a not-guilty plea in federal court. He faces up to five years in prison if the case goes to trial.

He was released on $250,000 bond and declined to comment. His lawyer, former Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Zachary Carter, said the charges had nothing to do with Sampson’s official duties. “The senator does not stand accused of any offenses of misuse of his office,” Carter said. “This is an ordinary case that has been given an official corruption coat of paint, and I think that’s unfair.”

Sampson joins a parade of New York politicians brought down in recent weeks by the feds. Since April 1, prosecutors have charged Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Queens), Assemblyman Eric Stevenson (D-Bronx) and City Councilman Dan Halloran (R-Queens) with bribery-related charges.

Monday’s charges follow the revelation last week that Sampson was secretly recorded by a former colleague, ex-Sen. Shirley Huntley (D-Queens), who has pleaded guilty to stealing from a nonprofit she controlled.

The leader of the Senate Democrats, Andrea Stewart-Cousins of Westchester County, stripped Sampson of his committee assignments Monday. Asked if Sampson should resign, she said, “When you’re faced with this level of allegations and these serious accusations, I don’t know, frankly, how it really is possible to serve your constituency in the way they need to be served.”

You can read the full indictment here:   [Read more]

130506 Sampson Indictment


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: