Accused of bilking about 19 Caribbean immigrants out of $1.8 million in their life savings by pretending to help them avoid deportation, a Trinidadian family was sentenced by a New York City judge on Wednesday to a combined 418-year prison sentence, reports the New York Daily News.
Calling them “the most despicable gang of criminal to ever sit in front of me,” Queens County Supreme Court Justice Kenneth Holder sentenced Shane Ramsundar, 52, to a maximum 235-year sentence. His wife, Gomatee, 48, received 153 years, and the couple's daughter, Shantal, 23, received 30 years, according to the News. Each of them was found guilty of grand larceny and related charges in November, charged with spending the money on cars and shopping sprees.
“You and I know that if you did this fraud and paraded and strutted around in front of your own people, in your own country, you probably would have all been hacked to death,” Holder told the family, the report says. “But not in this country. Now it’s your time to hear your return on your investment for your crime.”
Shane Ramsundar, who lived in the Richmond Hill section of Queens, reportedly posed as a federal agent who told fellow immigrants he could lift their names from “terror watch lists or stall the wheels of deportation with precious green cards,” the News says.
Among the victims, who mostly lived in Queens, was a man with multiple sclerosis who lost $43,000 after they told him he was about to be deported, the report says. Besides promising green cards, the father is accused of telling victims he could help them acquire "dirt-cheap prices" on properties seized by the federal government in Florida and Queens, the report says.
Read more at the New York Daily News.