A House ethics probe of Queens Rep. Gregory Meeks is focusing on possible criminal charges for his failure to report a $40,000 payment from a businessman that investigators say appears to have been an illegal gift -- and not a loan, as he has claimed.Are there any New York Democrats who aren't corrupt?
The bipartisan Ethics Committee yesterday announced it would investigate Meeks over the $40,000 he was given by businessman Ed Ahmad in 2007, and it released an investigator's report that blasted Meeks for being uncooperative with the probe.
The investigation will try to determine whether Meeks "failed to disclose a payment he received in 2007 in a timely manner," the panel announced in a statement released yesterday.
The House bars lawmakers from accepting gifts and has strict rules for loans -- including requirements that they include interest payments and collateral.
The committee also released an April report from the House's Office of Congressional Ethics, which conducts preliminary investigations, cataloguing serious charges against Meeks.
The report found:
* Meeks refused to cooperate with investigators and refused to turn over loan documents.
* There is "substantial reason" to believe he failed to disclose the gift, in violation of House rules and federal law.
* There was "no evidence" that there were "normal" indicators of a "legitimate loan," and drew a "negative inference" that he got the "$40,000 gift" "on a basis other than a legitimate loan."
Meeks has said the $40,000 was a loan from Ahmad -- although he did not disclose it on his 2007 or 2008 personal financial-disclosure documents.
He revealed it only in 2010 -- after the FBI had questioned Ahmad, whom the feds arrested last month and charged with mortgage fraud. Ahmad is now free on $2.5 million bail.
Meeks paid off the loan by getting another loan, for $59,000, from another New York supporter, Dennis Mehiel, a principal at Four M Investments.
Carrier and the Slippery Slope
6 hours ago