The fraudster-informant who helped Brooklyn federal prosecutors win a 5-year prison sentence for former New York State Senate leader John Sampson was disappointed to learn Friday that he isn’t getting off scot-free.
Despite a government letter that praised former mortgage broker Edul Ahmad’s cooperation and testimony in the Sampson case, U.S. District Judge Dora Irizarry sentenced Ahmad to two years in prison after accusing him of a pattern of sketchy behavior that hurt his credibility and his community.
“There is a right way and a wrong way,” the judge told Ahmad. “ . . . A sneaky way and a forthright way of doing things.”
Ahmad, 50, of Queens, was charged in 2011 with masterminding a mortgage fraud scheme using straw buyers and false loan applications. He secretly cooperated against Sampson, a friend, in hopes of leniency — describing a loan he gave Sampson to repay embezzled money, and favors Sampson did for him in Albany — and later recorded conversations.
Typically, cooperators endorsed by prosecutors don’t get jail time. But Irizarry lit into Ahmad, noting that on the eve of his testimony in the Sampson case he revealed that he had improperly sold a property securing his bail in an effort to raise money — a disclosure that became part of a strong cross examination.
Sampson was acquitted on six of nine counts, Irizarry said, and jurors afterward said they didn’t trust Ahmad. Although Ahmad said he told her he hadn’t intended to do anything wrong, even prosecutors and Ahmad’s lawyer called him a “mixed bag.”
The judge ended by lecturing him about the “blight” his mortgage schemes left in places like Queens’ Richmond Hill and questioning some of his tax returns, and then lowered the boom.
“To me that does not show full remorse,” the judge said. “What it does show is someone who is still ready to do what he feels he needs to do. Laws be damned, rules be damned.”
Ahmad declined to comment afterward. His lawyer said he was “disappointed,” and no decision had been made about an effort to appeal.