Limo company operator has history as FBI informant

Lester Mason
October 11, 2018

Cuomo said that the limousine involved in the crash had failed a state inspection and should not have been on the road.

Officers said the driver of the limousine, identified on social media as Scott Lisinicchia, was not licensed to drive a vehicle with more than 15 passengers.

The state is reportedly seeking a cease and desist order to stop the company, Prestige Limo, from operation until the investigation in finished.

Hussain, a former gas station owner who worked as a translator for the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles, began working for the FBI in the wake of the 9/11 attacks after he was caught in a federal investigation into fraud and bribery, according to "Crimes of Terror", a legal studies text written by Wadie E. Said, a law professor at the University of SC.

The crash Saturday in the town of Schoharie killed two pedestrians and 18 occupants of a limousine, including four sisters.

"State police are working with federal and local authorities to investigate the crash, and I have directed state agencies to provide every resource necessary to aid in this investigation and determine what led to this tragedy", the governor continued.

He said the company, Prestige Limousine, "has a lot to answer for".

The FBI has declined to comment. Robert Patnaude, a commander with the New York State Police, at a news conference Monday. He also worked as a translator for the state Department of Motor Vehicles, and had routinely accepted bribes of several hundred dollars each to help immigrants, who in some cases couldn't drive well or pass written exams they couldn't understand, according to court records.

Authorities said Hussain, 62, is in his native Pakistan at present.

But he agreed to work as an Federal Bureau of Investigation informant and served no jail time.

A 2012 Mother Jones profile of Hussain described him as "one of the FBI's more successful counterterrorism informants".

In one case, he helped convict men accused of plotting to bomb NY synagogues. Terence Kindlon is the father of Lee Kindlon, who was hired by the limousine company this week.

The four Newburgh men - Laguerre Payen, James Cromitie, Onta Williams and David Williams - were convicted but the FBI's use of Shahed Hussain drew harsh criticism and raised entrapment questions.

The four men were impoverished and had no links to global terrorist organizations.

Although Hussain's undercover work had exposed his residency in Wilton, he never left the area and for years had lived a quiet life at the hardscrabble motel along Route 9 a few miles north of Saratoga Springs.

"We did about 21 cases, including money laundering, human trafficking, drug trafficking, credit card fraud, stolen identity and DMV officials - corrupt DMV officials", Hussain said during one of the trials he testified in.

In brief remarks Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the vehicle that crashed failed a NY state inspection last month.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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