Guyanese Crooks – US cricket captain Steve Massiah’s passport confiscated
By STABROEK EDITOR | BREAKING NEWS | FRIDAY, DECEMBER 16, 2011
US cricket captain Steve Massiah has had his passport confiscated in the US over mortgage charges in a case linked to that of Guyanese and New York businessman Edul Ahmad.
ESPN is reporting that Massiah’s passport has been confiscated and he is restricted to travelling within New York. Permission was granted to him to travel to Florida for a tournament.
Massiah, a Guyanese, is currently out on bail. The charges carry a maximum of 20 years in prison.
According to ESPN, USA Cricket Association (USACA) president Gladstone Dainty said that the board still had not had any discussions regarding Massiah’s legal situation. “Don’t call me about that please,” Dainty told ESPN. New York regional director Lester Hooper told ESPN he had spoken to Massiah on the phone a few days ago to offer support but said that even if he was permitted to travel, it is unlikely Massiah, 32, would participate for the New York Region in the USA Cricket Association Twenty20 Nationals scheduled from January 20 to 22 in Florida. ESPN said that that tournament will be used as a selection tool to pick USA’s squad for the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier from March 13 to 24 in the UAE.
“I’m pretty sure cricket is the last thing on his mind,” Hooper told ESPN. “I think he would at least want to try and get this whole legal situation behind him before he would even think about representing the region or USACA for that matter. That would definitely be something the [USACA] executive committee would have to really take into consideration, but like anything else I would like to believe that someone is innocent until proven guilty.
“He was very upbeat and he’s looking forward to his day in court,” Hooper related to ESPN about his conversation with Massiah. “I think for his work and his dedication to US cricket over the past years, I think we owe it to Steve to say a prayer for him and wait until the cards are laid out and we’re able to get a better understanding of exactly what happened and make a better judgment, a more educated judgment, in terms of what happened or what didn’t happen.”
According to the arrest warrant, a copy of which is with ESPNcricinfo, Massiah and two other men conspired “to execute a scheme and artifice to defraud a financial institution”, listed as Countrywide Home Loans, “and to obtain moneys, funds, credits, assets, securities, or other property owned by and under the custody and control of such financial institution, by means of materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises.”
In the warrant, ESPN said that an FBI agent alleges that Massiah acted as a straw buyer for a co-conspirator, believed to be Ahmad.