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West Indians lose over $1M to con artist – QNS.com

West Indians lose over $1M to con artist

A South Richmond Hill man posing as a federal government agent has been charged with defrauding nearly a dozen members of Queens’ West Indian community out of more than $1 million by promising to assist them in obtaining “federally seized” properties at cheap prices or to assist them in gaining legal status in the country.
“Immigrants, especially, who in many instances are earning very little money and working at more than one job, put their faith and their finances in the hands of the defendant who, in turn, allegedly turned their American dream into the American nightmare by ripping them off. They now face an uncertain future,” said District Attorney Richard A. Brown.
Shane Ramsundar, 49, of 120th Street in South Richmond Hill, is presently awaiting arraignment in Queens Criminal Court. He is charged in two criminal complaints involving 11 alleged victims with the crimes of second-degree grand larceny, first-degree scheme to defraud and first-degree criminal impersonation of a public servant. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison.
According to one of the complaints, Pete Baldeo, the owner of a tattoo parlor located at 127-03 101st Avenue in Richmond Hill, met Ramsundar in May 2008. At the time, Ramsundar allegedly identified himself as an agent for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”) who was on loan to the FBI and Homeland Security as an undercover agent.
Ramsundar allegedly showed Baldeo a Homeland Security badge and a black automatic handgun, which he wore on his hip. It is alleged that Ramsundar told Baldeo, and others, that he could use his insider access to get people green cards, have them removed from deportation lists and even get them off “terrorist watch lists” in exchange for sums of money.
The complaint further alleges that Ramsundar repeatedly claimed to be able to help other victims with various immigration problems, including fixing expired tourist and student visas and, in one instance, offering to help a man who feared deportation following a divorce from his wife who was an American citizen.
He allegedly told all of his victims he could obtain permanent resident status for them in exchange for large sums of money. In total, Ramsundar allegedly received a total of $237,030 from eight victims.
In a second complaint, Ramsundar is alleged to have stolen a total of $855,000 from four individuals through two real estate deals. In his guise as an ICE agent, Ramsundar allegedly informed his victims that he could gain access to federally-seized real estate properties in Florida, which they could purchase for minimal fees and then sell for large profits.
Brown and Port Authority Police Superintendent Michael A. Fedorko ask that anyone who believes that he or she may have been a victim of the defendant’s alleged scheme to contact Port Authority Police Detective Dewan Maharaj at 201-239-3500; the PAPD Suspicious Activities Hotline at 800-828-7273; or the District Attorney’s Rackets and Organized Crime Bureau at 718-286-6659.

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