Holder said his harsh sentences were nothing compared to the street justice the Ramsundar family would have faced back in their native T&T. He said: “You and I know that if you did this fraud and paraded and strutted it in your own country, you would have probably been hacked to death,” Holder told the family, which immigrated from T&T in the ’90s.
Shane Ramsundar, 53, wife, Gomatee, 47, and daughter, Shantel, 24, were found guilty of grand larceny, money laundering, criminal impersonation and other charges during a three-month trial. Holder had no sympathy for any of them. The tough judge even had one of their victims, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, stand up in court so Shane could see him. Holder said the family’s crimes nearly killed that victim, who lost so much money he couldn’t afford medication. “Now it’s your turn to hear your return on your investment for these crimes,” said Holder, before sentencing the ringleader dad to 781/2 years to 235 years in prison and fining him US$1.8 million.
Wife Gomatee was sentenced to 51 to 153 years in prison and fined US$221,090, while daughter, Shantel, was sentenced to ten to 30 years and fined US$182,180. The courtroom was packed with victims and even jurors wanting to hear Holder scold the trio for swindling neighbours out of their life-savings to fuel their lavish lifestyle.
Dad Shane pretended to be an FBI agent and swindled 12 victims out of US$300,000, promising to get them removed from a terrorist watchlist and a deportation list, while also scoring them green cards. The Ramsundars also claimed their ties to “Feds” allowed them to buy cut-rate properties seized in Florida and Queens from tax evaders and drug dealers. The couple then convinced victims to give them money, promising to obtain mortgages for them.