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Witness: State Sen. John Sampson threatened to 'take out' informants

One-time Albany power broker Sen. John Sampson once threatened to "take out" those cooperating with the government as pressure mounted from a probe of his activities in 2011, a star prosecution informant testified Thursday at Sampson's federal corruption trial in Brooklyn.

The witness, Edul Ahmad, a real estate broker and friend of Sampson, said that at the time he was under indictment for mortgage fraud. He had not yet become an informant, but knew damaging information about Sampson, and had been told by Sampson that some associates didn't trust him. "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," said Ahmad, who began cooperating 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."

Ahmad said in the same meeting Sampson, who 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 of Sampson, ranted about the Eastern District federal prosecutors pursuing him.

"He told me that the Eastern District office was on a witch hunt to prosecute black politicians," Ahmad testified.

Sampson, 47, a one-time Democratic state Senate leader representing Canarsie, 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.

Ahmad is set to testify Monday to introduce tapes of conversations and meetings with Sampson after he began cooperating.


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