The Real Deal New York

Guyanese immigrants face financial ruin in wake of mortgage fraud scheme

January 09, 2012 11:00AM

Scores of Guyanese immigrants in Richmond Hill, Queens are in financial straits as a result of a $50 million mortgage fraud scheme perpetrated by Guyanese broker and real estate magnate Edul Ahmad, the New York Times reported.

Ahmad, who was arrested by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents in July, is charged with conning buyers into taking out subprime mortgages, inflating the values of their properties and hiding his involvement by using straw buyers, the Times said. He profited from real estate commissions and loan fees, according to the indictment, and misrepresented whether the borrowers actually made any payments to the sellers and the amount of commission money he collected.

Ahmad pleaded not guilty in 2011, but the aftermath of his scheme allegedly continues.

A married couple who took a 12.5 percent loan Ahmad arranged in 2006 lost their home, the souvenir store they operated and their entire life savings. They said their lives are still in turmoil and their children are supporting them financially.

“When you purchase a property, you think, ‘This is it!” the husband said. Instead, he said, he felt overwhelmed by “depression and anger issues, and hopelessness.” [NYT]