Meeks Pushes Felon Meeting Felon
Congressman Gregory Meeks, who represents the eastern portion of the Rockaway peninsula, the subject of a House of Representatives ethics probe for accepting a $40,000 payment from Queens businessman and crony Edul Ahmad in 2007. Also under federal investigation for his role in the New Directions non-profit founded by him and State Senator Malcolm Smith.
Edul Ahmad, a Queens real estate broker and catering hall owner indicted on charges of mortgage fraud. Currently out on bail, Ahmad provided Meeks with money, calling it a loan. Feds say differently.
Allen Stanford, Texas billionaire in jail awaiting trial on charges he ran a $7 billion Ponzi scheme. Big time political donor, with Meeks one of his major beneficiaries. Held a fundraiser for Meeks in St. Croix in 2008.
Meeks allegedly intervened for Stanford with Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in a disagreement in which a man was arrested by the government.
Now, new evidence obtained by the New York Post, shows that the three men are tied together by emails from Meeks attempting to get Ahmad some face time with Stanford at an Antigua cricket match in 2008.
One February 2008 email from a top executive at Stanford Financial Group that was marked “Importance: High,” said “Greg Meeks and Ed Ahmad have both called this afternoon inquiring about the status of Ahmad’s VIP-box invitation. Have we an update.”
The email was sent to the company’s top legal official and shows that Meeks was determined to get his pal invited to a cricket match with Stanford so that the two could meet and discuss business.
The plea was made a year after Ahmad handed Meeks the $40,000. Stanford would also throw some money at the Congressman a few months later, hosting the lavish fundraiser that raised nearly $14,000 for Meeks’ campaign fund.
At the fundraiser, the report says, the 80 guests dined on lobster and caviar and drank champagne at $200 a bottle. Tickets began at $1,000 and went way up from there. The cost of the catering alone ran $25,000, but Meeks only reimbursed Stanford for $3,591 and says he raised only $34,000, although records show that Stanford and his employees donated nearly $14,000 on their own.
The Post says that Meeks’ connection dates back to at least 2003, when the Congressman and his wife travelled to Antigua and Barbados, a junket financed by the Inter-American Economic Council, a group backed by Stanford.
It was the first of many trips taken by Meeks and his wife with the organization footing the bill.
In 2006, Stanford reportedly asked Meeks to use his influence with Chavez.
The billionaire wanted Meeks to tell Chavez to start a criminal investigation into a whistleblower at Stanford’s Venezuelan bank.
Meeks was heard on a speakerphone telling Stanford that he would intervene, according to a story in the Miami Herald.
Meeks was soon in Venezuela, reportedly thanking the dictator for providing cheap heating oil to American families.
The whistleblower was arrested and has since disappeared into the nation’s justice system, reports say.
On Wednesday, Meeks earned the dubious distinction of being listed as one of Congress’ “Most Corrupt Members” by the Citizens for Responsible Ethics in Washington.
The watchdog groups said on its website that it put Meeks on the list “because of his involvement in a string of shady deals.”
Meeks sits on both the House Financial Services Committee and the Foreign Affairs Committee. He was one of three Democratic Congressmen who voted for the Latin American Free Trade Agreement.
A spokesperson for Meeks said that “The economic development of the Caribbean and the U.S. Virgin Islands has been a focus of the Congressman for over a decade.”
The spokesperson declined to comment on Meeks’ involvement with Ahmad or Stanford.