The betrayals of real estate magnate Edul Ahmad, though brought to light nearly six months ago, continue to haunt the residents of the Guyanese-dominated Richmond Hill neighborhood of Queens.
Last July, Ahmad was arrested on charges for engineering a $50 million mortgage fraud scheme. His was one of many arrests of Guyanese realtors in the neighborhood who were found to be preying on their own people.
Ahmad lured buyers into subprime mortgages by inflating the value of their properties through the use of straw buyers. U.S. Cricket Team captain Steve Messiah has been identified as one of these straw buyers and has been charged with defrauding banks and mortgage companies by falsifying mortgage loan applications.
Ahmad has pleaded not guilty and was released on $2.5 million bail in July.
Richmond Hill has been one of the hardest-hit neighborhoods in the foreclosure crisis, according to The New York Times. The five worst-affected ZIP codes in Queens were areas where Ahmad handled the majority of real estate.
It's personal. Ed was one of us, Guyanese journalist Paul Sanders told the Times.