Monday, January 21, 2013
You are who your friends are
From the NY Post:
A number of Congressman Gregory Meeks’ friends are now in jail or under indictment, as prosecutors ramp up a federal probe into the New York Democrat.
One old pal, Ponzi schemer Allen Stanford, is already in federal prison; another, Edul Ahmad, is facing sentencing in a $50 million mortgage scam; and Albert Baldeo was recently charged with campaign-finance fraud.
Baldeo, the latest of Meeks’ pals to be arrested, is a Queens immigration lawyer whom the congressman described as a “good friend.”
Baldeo was arrested by federal authorities in October, charged with using straw donors in his failed 2010 City Council bid. He was accused of giving friends and associates money to donate to his campaign in their own names in an attempt to boost contributions and gain city matching funds.
Meeks, 59, had a satellite district office in a building owned by Baldeo from 2002 to 2004.
Baldeo told The Post he gave Meeks a break on the rent because he wanted the congressman to have a presence in his Richmond Hill community. House rules prohibit representatives from receiving below-market rent.
Baldeo is negotiating a possible plea deal with the feds. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison on each of the four charges.