Today’s news:

Meeks pal pleads guilty to fraud

U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks
TimesLedger Newspapers

A real estate agent with questionable ties to U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica) pleaded guilty Wednesday to defrauding financial institutions in order to obtain mortgages for homes in southeast Queens.

Edul Ahmad, who entered a guilty plea in Brooklyn federal court to conspiring to commit bank fraud and wire fraud, faces up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.

There was speculation that prosecutors prodded Ahmad to give up information about $40,000 he gave to Meeks in 2007, which was being investigated by the House Ethics Committee. Meeks failed to report the money on his 2007, 2008 or 2009 financial disclosure statements, according to an Office of Congressional Ethics investigation, which found he took out a home equity loan in 2010 to repay Ahmad $59,650 in order to appear the money was a loan with interest.

Meeks released a statement saying his thoughts and prayers went out to the victims as well as Ed and his family.

“With regard to the Ethics Committee, as I have said in the past, I have cooperated fully with the committee and expect to be treated fairly,” he added. “I hope the committee completes its process sooner rather than later.”

Reach reporter Rich Bockmann by e-mail at rbockmann@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4574.

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