A Brooklyn State Senator who was born to Guyanese parents has been charged for embezzlement in a case that is closely linked to Guyanese born businessman Ed Ahman who is facing fraud charges of his own. The case could end Sampson’s political career.
The New York Daily News reports “Brooklyn state Sen. John Sampson, once one of the most powerful politicians in Albany, surrendered to the FBI on Monday to face charges of embezzling funds from escrow accounts he controlled as a lawyer and using the money to finance an ill-fated run for district attorney.
In their investigation, prosecutors recorded Sampson saying he would track down an informant implicating an associate and “take them out,” according to a 24-page indictment unsealed Monday.
His surrender adds yet another name to the notorious list of New York politicians brought down in recent weeks by the feds.
Since April 1, federal prosecutors have charged state Sen. Malcolm Smith (D-Queens) Assemblyman Eric Stevenson (D-Bronx) and City Councilman Daniel Halloran (R-Queens) with bribery-related charges.
The new indictment accuses Sampson of embezzling $440,000 in surplus funds from foreclosure sales of four properties in which he was a court-appointed referee, and steering some of the money into his losing campaign for Brooklyn district attorney in 2005. .
After embezzling the funds, Sampson feared he would eared he’d get caught, so he pressured a local businessman to “loan” him $188,000 to cover his tracks, the indictment claims.
The businessman, identified by sources as Edul Ahmad, later was busted by the feds for commiting massive mortgage fraud, and immediately began cooperating with the government.
Worried that Ahmad would reveal details of the secret loan, Sampson began offering to help Ahmad find witnesses the feds were using against him.
But when Sampson allegedly threatened to “take them out,” he was being secretly recorded by the man he intended to help – Ahmad, according to the indictment.
The Brooklyn Democrat even went so far as to try and get inside information about Ahmad’s case from an administrative employee he knew in the Brooklyn U.S. Attorney’s office.
That employee has since been fired and a U.S. Justice Department inspector general investigation of the matter has been launched.
At a Monday press conference, Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Loretta Lynch said Sampson’s use of embezzled funds in his run for Brooklyn district attorney is “one of the most extreme examples of hubris and arrogance we have ever seen.”
“Sampson’s interests were always for himself,” she said.
Later Monday Sampson pleaded not guilty to two counts of embezzlement, five counts of obstructing justice and two counts of lying to FBI. He was released on $250,000 secured bail bond.” In court, prosecutor Alexander Solomon revealed Sampson was offered a plea deal which expires May 31. Under that deal, he would plead guilty to one count each of embezzlement and obstruction of justice, and face up to 46 months in prison. (Photos and Story by New York Daily News)