News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Tues. Feb. 26, 2013: Three Trinidad nationals from Queens, NY, have been arrested for allegedly stealing more than $50,000 from a lunch program for senior citizens.
The three include two former executive directors of the non-profit United Hindu Cultural Council of USA North America Inc., (UHCC), which obtained city funding to provide lunch for seniors. All three were arraigned in New York State Supreme Court in Queens County as investigators this morning executed a search warrant at UHCC for documents and computers that are evidence of the scheme.
Instead, New York State Attorney General, Eric T. Schneiderman, alleges that Chan Jamoona, 66, of Queens and her daughter, Veda Jamoona, 28, of Manhattan and Queens, conspired with Sonny’s Roti Shop, Steven Rajkumar, to running scheme in which the senior center operator inflated bills submitted to New York City’s Department for the Aging.
To carry out the scheme, the indictment alleges that the defendants directed UHCC workers to falsify invoices from the senior center’s caterer, Sonny’s Roti Shop in Queens, and provide fake signatures on sign-in sheets.
The two former UHCC executive directors are accused of stealing over $50,000 from programs for New York seniors by receiving kickbacks from Rajkumar.
The defendants are charged with conspiracy in the fourth degree and grand larceny in the second degree. Chan Jamoona faces an additional eight counts of falsifying business records in the first degree and four counts of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree. Veda Jamoona faces an additional count of offering a false instrument for filing in the first degree. Steven Rajkumar faces an additional three counts of falsifying business records in the first degree. If convicted, the maximum sentence for grand larceny in the second degree, the top count, is 5 to 15 years imprisonment.
“By stealing from the senior center lunch program, the defendants put personal greed ahead of the basic needs of New York seniors,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “When it comes to services vital for our seniors, we cannot accept fraud as a cost of doing business. My office will prosecute fraud in critical New York programs to the fullest extent of the law.”
“Through fake invoices and phantom clients, these defendants systematically chiseled the City’s taxpayers and shortchanged the seniors they were supposed to serve, according to the indictment. Their charged phony billing scheme was undone by meticulous fiscal analysis and old-fashioned surveillance. DOI was pleased to work with the New York State Attorney General’s Office to hold these fraudsters accountable,” added Department of Aging Commissioner, Rose Gill Hearn.