OCTOBER 25, 2012 | BY KNEWS | FILED UNDER NEWS
… transferred money to airline from hospital chain – court records
WEST PALM BEACH (Court House News Service) – A hospital chain claims in court that its payroll manager and his two companies embezzled US$5.4 million from it.
Promise Healthcare and 11 of its hospitals sued Sonny Ramdeo, PayServ Tax and Ez-Jet GT, in Palm Beach County Court. It claims it hired Ramdeo eight years ago to manage payroll for its 3,500 employees in its hospitals nationwide.
Promise accuses, “Sonny Ramdeo, and his companies (of) stealing over five million dollars from Promise through a sophisticated scheme of fraud and deception. Specifically, Ramdeo incorporated a company called ‘PayServ Tax Inc.’ and deceived Promise’s senior management into believing that PayServ was a legitimate payroll tax processing company affiliated with the nationally known payroll processing company, Ceridian.
Promise Healthcare and 11 of its hospitals have sued Sonny Ramdeo, PayServ Tax and Ez-Jet for a US$5.4M embezzlement.
“Based on this lie, he deceived Promise into transferring millions of dollars to PayServ Tax Inc. and diverted over five million dollars of Promise’s money to himself and his companies,” the complaint states.
Ceridian is not a party to the complaint.
”Around October 2010, Ramdeo incorporated PayServ,” the complaint states. “Thereafter, through a sophisticated fraud including false representations, fabricated documents and e-mails, and a fictitious website, Ramdeo deceived Promise’s senior management into believing that Promise’s payroll taxes were being received, processed, and paid by Ceridian (a global payroll services company that Promise had used for years).
Instead, Ramdeo received Promise’s money allocated for payroll taxes through his own company, PayServ, so that he could steal millions of dollars from Promise along the way. Upon information and belief, he did this by forging signatures on standing transfer orders that purported to authorize Promise’s bank to debit funds from Promise’s account for transfer to PayServ’s account at PNC Bank. …
”Significantly, in the past two months alone, Ramdeo stole US$5,387,000 from Promise by diverting its funds to Ez Jet. He did this by diverting money in the PayServ account that had been deposited for payment of Promise’s payroll taxes to his jet charter company, EZJet GT Inc.
”Upon information and belief, since creating PayServ, Ramdeo has been knowingly and intentionally misstating the amount of payroll taxes actually due by Promise and/or misstating the amount of payroll taxes actually transferred to government agencies and stealing the excess funds (in a sum that exceeds US$5,000,000).
“Ramdeo effected this fraud through a sophisticated scheme of fraud that deceived not only Promise’s senior management, but also its auditors. This is because Ramdeo not only fabricated documents, but also emails and websites to deceive Promise and its auditors into believing that Ceridian was receiving and processing Promise’s payroll taxes.
For example, when Promise’s senior management requested additional information from Ramdeo regarding the Ceridian bank account where payroll taxes were being deposited, Ramdeo provided Promise’s senior management with a document – on Ceridian letterhead – which purported to identify ‘the Payroll Trust Account information in which Promise Healthcare’s taxes are being collected into and disbursed out of.’ Ramdeo even fabricated an e-mail to himself from a purported Ken Taylor of Paytax so that it would appear as if he had received the Paytax letter from a third party.
However, like Ramdeo’s other representations, the PayTax Letter and the e-mail from a purported Ken Taylor were fraudulent. They were fabricated by Ramdeo in response to Promise’s request for additional information about the payroll tax account.
”The PayTax Letter and email were only one part of Ramdeo’s scheme. For example, upon information and belief, Ramdeo also purchased the domain name Pay-tax.com and directed that Internet address to link directly to Ceridian’s website so that anyone investigating Pay-tax.com would be deceived into thinking that they were dealing with Ceridian.” (Citations to exhibits omitted; parentheses in complaint.)
The hospitals seek damages for fraud, unjust enrichment, conversion, and civil theft and imposition of a constructive trust.
They are represented by Matthew Triggs, with Proskauer Rose, of Boca Raton.
EZjet started flying to Guyana on December 16, 2011, but competitors in the industry questioned the source of financing of the company.
It was revealed that Ramdeo had a US$348,000 mortgage on his Fort Lauderdale home.
In early March, Ramdeo flew in several of his executives to deny that EZjet has links to former President Bharrat Jagdeo and his businessman friend, Ranjisinghi ‘Bobby’ Ramroop.
According to Ramdeo, his operating licence in Guyana was granted after an economic study was done which justified the investment. The company stood in the line and waited its turn and was granted no favors, it was said.
The company was granted permission and started selling tickets in late November. Ramdeo said he used part of his mortgage to fund the startup of the company to the tune of US$1.5M ($300M).
In the process, the former investment banker said he had to utilise the proceeds from his investments funds, stock options from the bank where he worked and his 401K, a retirement savings account.
The US1.5M was used to pay security deposits, bonds, for the aircraft, he said.
Regarding having a mortgage on his Florida home which, taking a risk to invest such a hefty sum on what is considered one of the riskiest businesses in the world, Ramdeo was of the opinion that it had no bearing.
“…And if you truly believe in a business that you can make work when you have done enough homework and research, then you can mitigate the risks that are out there. It is a worthwhile investment. Sure there are investors that take those measures (and) those that don’t.”
“The fact that I have a US$348,000 mortgage has no bearings whatsoever on a business idea. The fact that I did not pay off my mortgage tends to lend to the fact of what if I do pay off my mortgage, take the money and pay it off and then what?”
Roger Khan associate surrenders for Lethem arms bust probe
Written by Denis Scott Chabrol
Tuesday, 09 October 2012 11:21
Ricardo “Fatman” Rodrigues, a close associate of a Guyanese drug lord in a United States jail, Tuesday morning surrendered to police to assist in a probe into a large cache of high-powered weapons discovered in a Rupunuuni yard.
Attorney-at-law , Glenn Hanoman said his client was questioned in his presence andd refused station bail. No written statement was given by Rodrigues at that time.
The lawyer said that as soon as Rodrigues learnt that he was wanted, he immediately made arrangements to hand over himself to police at E and F Headquarters, Eve Leary.
Rodrigues’ cousin-Clive “Bora” Lloyd King has not been seen since the rifles, grenade and other items were dug up from a yard in the southern Guyanese townsship of Lethem. Brazilian authorities have been asked to assist in loctaing and returning him if he is seen in the neeighbouring Portuguese-speaking country.
A wanted bulletin was Monday also isssued for King.
19-year old Benedict Thompson, who has been remanded untiil December 4 on charges of illegal possesssion of arms, ammunition and explosive, is being represented by Hanoman.
He is charged with being in possession of three AK-47 rifles, six M15 rifles, four AK-47 magazines, an AK-47 drum magazine, and one M15 magazine, without being a licensed firearm holder. He has also been charged with having two anti-riot grenades without lawful authority to have such weapons in his possession.
The man allegedly led investigators to the cache of weapons after he was confronted by police about allegedly being in possession of one gun.
Rodrigues is a close associate of Guyanese Shaheed ‘Roger’ Khan who has been jailed in the United States for cocaine trafficking. Before he was caught in neighbouring Suriname, Khan had publicly claimed responsibility for preventing the then Bharrat Jagdeo administration from being toppled by heavily armed gangs and sections of the security forces. Khan has been repeatedly singled out by the political opposition as being a key-player in alleged state-sponsored death squads that had hunted armed gangs. Government Minister, Dr. Leslie Ramsammy has vehemently denied authorising the sale of sophisticated mobile phone tapping and user-location equipment that had been found in Khan’s possession. At the time of Khan’s arrest, wiretapped recordings of voices purportedly of then Police Commissioner, Winston Felix and Peoples National Congress executive member, Basil Williams had surfaced and used by the government to justify its claim that there had been political-security links in the crime-spree. The recordings have never been condemned by the Jagdeo administration.
Guyanese Ed Ahmad pleads guilty to mortgage fraud in New York court
Written by Demerara Waves
Wednesday, 10 October 2012 13:59
New York-based Realtor, Ed Ahmad on Wedneday pleaded guilty to mortgage fraud and could face up to 13 years imprisonment.
Ahmad, who was indicted on a US$50 million mortgage fraud, handed in his guilty plea at 12:08 (New York time), less than one month after he entered a plea bargain.
Ahmad, a former member of the Guyana Police Force, plead guilty to count one of his indictment when he appeared before Judge Dora Irazarry.
The New York court would soon issue a schedule leading up to the sentencing.
US Attorney Alexander A. Solomon indicated that the prosecution would be seeking 121 to 151 months jail terms- the equivalent to about 10-12 years 7 months., a few short of 13 years. The financial penalties totalling US$42 million include US$14 million in restitution, US$28 million in criminal fine and a mandatory criminal forfeiture of US$500,000.
Defense Attorney, Steven R. Kartagener indicated that he would contest the actual amount of the monetary loss Ahmad is responsible for, a move that could possibly result in a reduction in the monetary penalties. The two sides are expected to argue and make written submissions between now and the date of sentencing.
The criminal fine and restitution are based on the government’s estimate of loss in the amount of US$14 million. The criminal fine is twice the gross loss. Restitution is in addition to criminal fine. . Between now and sentencing the parties are expected to argue and make submissions on the actual amount of monetary loss
Ahmad, a close friend of former Guyana President Bharrat Jagdeo, was visibly nervous and spoke with a broken voice.
He plead guilty to count one of bank and wire fraud and said his attorney had no viable defence. The offence included conspiracy to defraud various lending institutions by doing false appraisals of the values of properties.
The offences were committed between January 1995 and January 2009.
In 2011, Ahmad was reportedly removed from a Guyanese-bound airplane on the tarmac at JFK airport by the FBI and was indicted in connection with a massive $50 million mortgage fraud scheme.
Ahmad’s financial dealings have been also caught up in New York’s politics. Ahmad made a $40,000 payment to Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) in 2007 that the Congressman failed to disclose on his Financial Disclosure Reports for 2007, 2008, and 2009. Meeks subsequently claimed the $40,000 payment was a loan, but there were no note or payments until several years after the payment was made. Last year the Office of Congressional Ethics (OCE) asked the House Ethics Committee to investigate the matter. The OCE reported that Rep. Meeks “refused to cooperate with the OCE’s investigation.
The Ministers of Education and Human Services should say what they are doing about the sexual abuse of students by teachers
Help & Shelter invites the Ministers of Education and Human Services to inform the Guyanese people what they are doing and propose to do about the rape, sexual abuse and sexual harassment of students by teachers, including those at private religious institutions.
The Sexual Offence Act is very clear on this matter, defining abuse of trust as when the “the accused looks after persons who are receiving education at an educational institution (whether in the role of teacher or in another role)” and “the accused is a social worker, probation officer, coach, instructor, minister of religion, babysitter, child-minder or has a welfare position in relation to the complainant, and has regular unsupervised contact with the complainant.”
It is clear that investigation, background checks and oversight of teachers and others who are in positions of trust in relation to children are non-existent or inadequate, resulting in children, especially those who are vulnerable and at risk, being subjected to sexual abuse including rape.
Section 35 of the Protection of Children Act provides that “The Director of the Childcare & Protection Agency is to compile a list and the Minister of Human Services is to keep a list of persons who are considered unsuitable to work with children upon receipt of confirmation of that person’s conviction for an offence against a child.”
We call upon the Director of the CPA and Minister of Human Services to take immediate steps to ensure that this list is compiled, kept updated and made publicly available to ensure that pedophiles and other sexual offenders are prevented from having contact with children, particularly in situations where they are in a position of trust.
The alleged abuse of children at the Turkeyen Masjid makes it imperative that a full investigation be conducted at this institution, which should include students, teachers and other caregivers. Guyanese society looks to its religious institutions for spiritual and moral guidance and to religious leaders as role models.
Rape and other forms of child abuse must never be condoned or hidden under a cloak of religious immunity or privilege. We at Help & Shelter have viewed with alarm the persistent attempts for bail to be granted to accused Nezaam Ali.
Research has clearly established that children seldom lie or make up stories about sexual abuse. Pedophiles are serial offenders and leave in their wake a large number of physically and psychologically damaged children. We support the call for a review and overhaul of the present system of child protection. Our children must be better cared for and protected.
All Help & Shelter
Crisis Service Personnel
For Help & Shelter
(Trinidad Express) United States law enforcement is on the hunt for a violent fugitive believed to be hiding in Trinidad and Tobago.
The man who has been identified by the US Embassy in Port of Spain as Sean Lopes, 46, is believed to be hiding in this country, the Embassy said in a press statement yesterday which showed three photographs of Lopes, who is described as a violent fugitive.
Lopes was sentenced to 15 years in jail on charges of kidnapping and attempting to murder his ex-girlfriend who is the niece of a US Federal Judge.
In 2008, Interpol in Guyana issued a wanted bulletin for Lopes who is said to have Guyanese and Dutch nationality for alleged kidnapping and other crimes involving the use of weapons and explosives.
Lopes is said to be 5-feet-8, 140 pounds and has black hair, is light-skinned, with brown hair and black eyes, and is usually clean shaven, but sometimes has facial hair.
He was born in Guyana on February 12, 1966, but also uses July 6, 1970. Lopes is also known to speak with a Guyanese accent and uses aliases such as Sean H Lopes, Shane M Lopes, and Sean Hendrick Lopes. He is said to have ties in this country, Guyana, Canada, Bahamas, and the Dominican Republic.
In 2006, Lopes, including eight other men and one woman were labelled by the New York Police Department as the city’s most wanted fugitives.
A reward is being offered for information leading to Lopes’ capture, the US Embassy said.
Lopes became obsessed with his ex-girlfriend, Amanda Hopkins, and was furious that she had dumped him after discovering he was ten years older than he had claimed, was married and the father of a young girl.
Prosecutors claimed Lopes sneaked into the 22-year-old Bronx teacher’s Upper East Side apartment in New York on the last day of school, June 25, 2004. Stashed in his duffel bag were a pair of black gloves, a black ski mask, a BB gun tricked-out to look like a .9-mm pistol, a stun gun and a serrated knife.
When Hopkins came home at 12.30 a.m., Lopes attacked and choked her and threatened the eighth-grade math teacher with the gun. He terrorised Hopkins — the niece of a federal magistrate in Florida — and threatened to kill her and then commit suicide.
Police later stormed the apartment and found Lopes holding a butcher’s knife to Hopkins’ throat. He was subsequently challenged by a K-9 dog and taken into custody. Lopes, an eighth-grade science teacher, was charged with attempted murder and attempted kidnapping.
His wife put up the family’s house to secure his $250,000 bail, but Lopes jumped bail on November 16, 2004, and hasn’t been seen since. On May 20, 2005, Lopes was tried, convicted, and sentenced in absentia to 15 years in prison. It is believed that he travelled to this country using his brother’s travel documents.
Buying your way out of jail is a lesson to be learned from the top families in Guyana, Navin Prashad the son of then Minister Manniram Prashad high profile case disappeared from the courts, and more recently President Donald Ramotar son Alexei Ramotar ran down a man with his car and the police failed to even do anything about it, lead police in that accident apparently got a promotion, then Nanda Gopal from Office of the President accident.
Kuru Kururu fatal accident…Dead guard’s family accepts $2.5M settlement from accused
By Michael Jordan
Relatives of security guard, Ronville Roberts, have accepted a $2.5M settlement from truck driver Sahid Ali,
who is accused of causing Roberts’s death in an accident last Wednesday on the Soesdyke/Linden highway.
This disclosure was made yesterday when the 29-year-old accused appeared in the Providence Magistrates Court before Magistrate Leslie Sobers on charges of causing death by dangerous driving and failing to render assistance.
Ali’s attorney, Vic Puran, told Magistrate Sobers that his client had agreed to give Roberts’s family $2.5M. The court was also told that the accused had already made an initial payment of $200,000 to the dead guard’s family.
In the presence of the court, Ali then handed over a further $500,000 to the dead man’s reputed wife, Ingrid Schmidt. Puran also requested copies of the case dockets, which he would hand over to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Ali, who had been placed on remand and appeared in court in handcuffs, was then released on $100,000 bail. He is to return to court on March 22.
While the security guard’s relatives have indicated that they are unwilling to pursue the matter concerning his death, the DPP has the final say in deciding whether the charges against the accused will be dropped.
Speaking to Kaieteur News after leaving the court, attorney-at-law Puran said that he will appeal to the DPP to have the charges dropped.
“I will now have to write to the DPP requesting that she nolle prosequi (bring it to an end) because of the view that my client is prepared to compensate, so that is a factor for her to take into consideration.
“But she could decide that she is proceeding, notwithstanding compensation.
“What has been settled is the civil matter…If the aggrieved persons are disposed to settle the matter, it is up to the DPP to decide whether she agrees to settle or not.“
At the suggestion that $2.5M was a relatively paltry sum, and could not give the victims a house, Puran argued that $2.5M “could build a 30×20 three-bedroom concrete house with a toilet and bathroom.”
The victim, 58-year-old Ronville Roberts, is survived by eight children. The youngest is said to be about 11 years old.
But Puran said that neither he nor any other attorney was involved in arranging the financial transaction. Rather, this was done by the accused and the victim’s family. However, Puran said he informed the court of the financial compensation in an effort to be “full and frank.”
The prosecution has alleged that security guard Ronville Roberts, of Kuru Kururu, was cycling along the Soesdyke/Linden highway near his home at around 08:15 hrs last Friday when Sahid Ali, who was driving motor lorry GLL 319, reversed and crushed him.
The prosecution also alleged that the 29-year-old accused drove off, leaving the injured man on the roadway. He reportedly abandoned the truck about four miles from the scene.
Sahid Ali was subsequently identified and charged with causing death by dangerous driving and failing to render assistance. He first appeared in the Georgetown Magistrates Court last Friday.
But attorney-at-law Vic Puran denied that his client had fled from the scene of the accident. According to Puran, Ali had driven away because he was unaware of the accident.
Puran also denied that his client had abandoned his vehicle, and said Ali had gone to buy something to eat. The attorney also argued that it is difficult for a cyclist on the move to collide with a reversing vehicle unless the person sought to commit suicide.
The attorney added that a passenger riding with Ali had told police that at the time of the alleged incident, he was instructing the driver to reverse, and during such time the truck had not been involved in any accidents.
Puran said the police arrested Ali because they noticed blue paint on the bottom of the truck, which appeared to be similar to the blue paint on Robert’s bicycle.
The prosecutor subsequently rebutted Puran’s claim and said that the truck had been identified by eyewitnesses. The prosecution had objected to granting Ali bail.
Suggesting that his client is still not out of the woods, Puran referred to similar cases where the DPP had refused to drop charges even after financial settlements were made.
He cited an August 2009 case in which a client of his was charged with causing the death of two small children, aged 12 and seven, near Tuschen East Bank Essequibo.
Puran explained that although his client, compensated the children’s relatives, the DPP ordered that the criminal proceedings should continue. The accused, Mahendranauth Singh, was eventually freed of the charges.
Kaieteur News had reported in 2010 of several cases in which drivers in causing death matters had their cases dropped after paying various sums to the families of victims.
The ‘compensation packages’ ranged from $5M for the death of the young mother, $600,000 for the death of an eight-year-old girl, and $300,000 for a seven-year-old girl killed on a pedestrian crossing.
Cocaine in pineapples, watermelons…Guyana link seen as Canadians arrest 6
Toronto, Canada (Toronto Sun) – Would you like pineapple with your cocaine? Some watermelon with your weed?
In a highly-tainted fruit salad caper, six Toronto-area accused drug importers were arrested after police and border agents seized coke and pot in loads of pineapples and watermelons.
“Drug dealers will stop at nothing to get their contraband into this country,” RCMP Supt. Rick Penney, Commander of the GTA Drug Enforcement Unit, said Wednesday in a statement announcing the arrests.
Sergeant Michele Paradis said the plot was uncovered first in the port of Saint John, New Brunswick, when Canada Border Services Agency officers seized a container believed to contain cocaine.
Their search turned up 19 kilograms of cocaine hidden inside 80 hollowed-out pineapples scattered throughout the shipment, Paradis said.
She said the illegal coke load was first linked to a Toronto-area address in August, and then traced to gang members with ties to co-conspirators in Jamaica, Guyana, Costa Rica and the United States.
Over the subsequent months, investigators tracked and seized other incoming drug shipments, including two trucks entering Ontario at the Windsor border crossing with 115 kilos of marijuana hidden in shipments of watermelons, Paradis said.
The cocaine had a street value of about Cad$850,000; the pot about Cad$230,000.
“It is through this type of interagency co-operation that we can thoroughly investigate and dismantle organized criminal groups,” Penney stated.
Facing drug-related charges in Toronto courts are Denise Sonia Edwards, 46 — who police say also used the last name Pilgram — and Linval Earl Brown, 52, both of Pickering; Dexter Emmanuel Boyce, 43, of Toronto; Abdool Zaman Haleek, 54, of Scarborough; Roman Clint McInnis, 42, of Keswick; and Lancelot Henry, 45, of St. Catharines.