Limo Owner Had Criminal Record, Served as Informant
Limo Owner Had Criminal Record, Served as Informant
Owner of limo company in horrific crash was an FBI informant
11 October, 2018, 04:41
Shahed Hussain, a 62-year-old Pakistan native, has been identified as the owner of the Prestige Limousine company that operated the limo that crashed and killed 20 people in NY on Saturday, October 6. Authorities said Hussain, 62, is in his native Pakistan at present.
According to the NTSB, the crash was the deadliest transportation accident in the country since 2009, when a plane crashed into a home outside of Buffalo, killing 50 people.
The driver of the limousine and two pedestrians also died after the vehicle ran through a stop sign and slammed into a parked auto.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said at a Monday press conference that the limo had failed a state Department of Motor Vehicles inspection just a month before and was not supposed to be on the road.
Newlyweds Erin and Shane McGowan were killed.
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A report from The Washington Post says that Erin McGowan, a passenger on the limo who died in the accident, texted her aunt Valerie Abeling to say that the limo was "in awful condition".
"That is being analysed for post-crash data".
Police said on October 8 that the company owner, Shahed Hussain, is now in Pakistan.
Among those killed were four sisters, two brothers - one of which was recently married and whose wife also died in the crash - and the two brothers' stepfather.
His limo company, Prestige Limousine, said Monday it is investigating what caused Saturday's crash and has met with state and federal authorities.
He posed as a terrorist sympathizer in at least three investigations.
Cuomo also said the driver didn't have the appropriate license and the stretch limo had been rebuilt in a way that violated federal law.
According to United States media reports, Mr Hussain left Pakistan in the 1990s to seek asylum in the USA after being accused of murder.
Hussain's path to becoming an informant began after the 9/11 terrorist attacks when he was arrested in an FBI fraud investigation in Albany that targeted a ring of corrupt translators, state motor vehicle workers and almost 100 immigrants who had illegally obtained driver's licenses with help from Hussain. According to his testimony in 2010, Hussain infiltrated a mosque in Newburgh, where he recruited four men into a sting operation. But Hussain, under direction of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, befriended them, provided them with money, and supplied all the materials and instruction for the plot they were eventually convicted of: Firing Stinger missiles at military planes flying into Stewart International Airport in New Windsor, N.Y. and detonating bombs at a Jewish Center in Bronx, N.Y.
As well as his limousine firm, Mr Hussain is also believed to own a motel in Gansevoort in New York State called The Crest Inn Suites and Cottages.
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Hussain emigrated from Pakistan in the early 1990s, fleeing a murder charge that he later said was trumped up, according to news reports.
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