What is Rep. Gregory Meeks Hiding?
Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) is one of 31 House conferees appointed by Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) on the financial regulation bill. When he was named on June 9, Meeks claimed:
As conferee I plan to make sure that by having a strong presence of financial oversight and accountability in this legislation U.S. consumers will have the necessary financial protection and be as financially informed as possible.
But now Meeks is using “oversight” in a different context. You see, when he failed to disclose $55,000 in personal loans as required, he called it an “oversight.” This excuse sounded downright familiar to us. It is the same one cited by Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY) when he failed to report hundreds of thousands in income and assets.
Sources familiar with the matter say the loans are related to an $830,000 home Meeks bought in 2006 in Jamaica.
On March 19, NLPC asked the House Ethics Committee to investigate Meeks for paying $830,000 for a newly-built home in 2006 that was worth more than $1.2 million. Click here to download a 26-page pdf of the Complaint.
Our scrutiny of Meeks’ house was an outgrowth of our exposé of Meeks involvement in a charity called New Direction Local Development Corporation, which raised money for Hurricane Katrina victims who never received it. Newspaper headlines apparently triggered a federal grand jury investigation of Meeks and other New York politicians.
Meeks’ sudden recollection of the personal loans was likely prompted by the investigation. Meeks disclosed for the first time that he received a loan of between $50,000 and $100,000 from Guyanese-born businessman Edul Ahmad. When asked by the New York Post about his relationship with Meeks, Ahmad claimed, “I have none.”
Ahmad is a big political donor, donating more than $12,000 to presidential and congressional campaigns over the last 15 years, including $1,000 to Meeks and more than $4,000 to Queens Congresswoman Yvette Clarke, election records show.
He`s also given more than $60,000 to mostly Democratic campaigns and political action committees statewide in the last 15 years, including several donations to Brooklyn state Sen. John Sampson and Gov. Paterson.
Meeks has been dodging reporters about all this, just as he has ducked questions about his relationship with Ponzi schemer R. Allen Stanford.
If Ahmad had no relationship with Meeks, why did he lend him the money? What were the terms of the loan? Was it secured?
The questions keep mounting, but they can all be wrapped into one: What is Meeks hiding?