From the NY Times:
John L. Sampson, the State Senate leader, performed legal work for a Queens real estate broker who was being investigated by state authorities on allegations of fraud and predatory lending, and was disciplined for acting as a notary for the broker after his notary license had expired, according to state documents.
The broker, Edul Ahmad, has been at the center of a loan scandal involving United States Representative Gregory W. Meeks of Queens, who this month admitted that he had failed to disclose a $40,000 loan from Mr. Ahmad on his federal filings. The loan appeared to come with no strings attached, or interest. Mr. Meeks repaid it three years after the fact, once it became a matter of scrutiny.
The generous terms of the loan have raised questions about Mr. Ahmad and his political relationships. New details about Mr. Ahmad’s past emerged after The New York Times submitted a Freedom of Information Law request to the New York Department of State, which investigates improprieties by licensed real estate brokers. Mr. Ahmad has been the defendant in five cases investigated by the department involving allegations of fraud and predatory lending.
Mr. Ahmad was fined $750 in one case and had his license suspended for 30 days in another one. Two other cases, initiated in 2007 and 2008, were referred to the office of the Queens district attorney, Richard A. Brown, but a spokeswoman for Mr. Brown’s office said Tuesday night that it could not immediately determine what became of the referrals.
Mr. Sampson, the highest-ranking official in the Senate, is described in the documents as having performed a variety of legal work, from meeting with an investigator from the Department of State about documents being collected from Mr. Ahmad to notarizing an affidavit of a former employee of Mr. Ahmad’s.
The work took place through 2008, before Mr. Sampson became leader of the Democratic caucus in the summer of 2009, but he continues to act as a lawyer for Mr. Ahmad.