News Americas, BROOKLYN,NY, Mon. June 29, 2015: The trial of Guyanese-American lawmaker, New York Senator John Sampson, continues today in a Brooklyn Court with a former friend and campaign contributor set to continue testimony against him.
Convicted Guyanese-born businessman and former campaign backer, Ed Ahmad, is set to continue his testimony at 9:30 AM this morning against Sampson in Brooklyn Federal Court before Judge Dora Lizette Irizarry. Ahmad who is awaiting sentencing, will introduce tapes of conversations and meetings with Sampson after he began cooperating with federal authorities following his own indictment on mortgage fraud.
Ahmad who began his testimony last week in the government’s case against the once powerful Albany lawmaker, told the jury Sampson once threatened to “take out” those cooperating with the government as pressure mounted from a probe of his activities in 2011.
“One night he came to my office very late, and he told me that if he ever found out who the cooperators were, he would take them out,” Ahmad testified.
“That really scared me,” Ahmad who at the time was indicted on mortgage fraud said and he began cooperating with the feds. a month after the October 2011, meeting.
“I don’t know if he was getting desperate or what, but I really got scared, scared for my life,” said the Queens businessman.
Ahmad also told the jury that Senator Sampson had recruited a mole in the office of then-Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch to get tips on the case against Ahmad and the probe against him.
“He told me that the Eastern District office was on a witch hunt to prosecute black politicians,” Ahmad testified.
Sampson, 47, of Canarsie, a one time candidate for the post of Brooklyn DA, is charged with an elaborate cover-up to hide embezzlement of $188,500 from escrow funds he held as a court-appointed referee responsible for foreclosure sales, and other misdeeds.
He was indicted in 2013 for lying to FBI agents, obstructing justice by encouraging Ahmad to lie and hide documents relating to the embezzlement, and getting a paralegal in the U.S. attorney’s office to leak information about the case.
Sampson’s defense lawyer Nick Akerman has vigorously pushed back at the government, conceding that Sampson committed some “ethical lapses” but no federal crimes. He argued that his client was entrapped by Ahmad at the government’s direction and “many reasonable doubts lurk in the evidence.”
Sampson faces up to 20 years in prison if he is convicted.