News Americas, WEST PALM BEACH, FL, Mon. July 13, 2015: A Caribbean-born former airline owner will have to spend the next twenty-years in jail.
Guyana-born Sonny Ramdeo, the owner of the EZjet airline which charter air service offering flights from New York City and Toronto to Guyana.
Judge Kenneth A. Marra sentenced Ramdeo to 240 months to run concurrent and three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay $21,442,173 in restitution.
Ramdeo had pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering in October 2013. But two months later he recanted the plea on the grounds that he was not properly represented by counsel.
Judge Marra had then accepted the change and appointed a public defender to represent Ramdeo.
The indictment against Ramdeo alleged that he wired money into his accounts that was to have been used to cover payroll taxes for Promise Healthcare and 11 of its hospitals, for which he was payroll manager.
He allegedly formed two companies, PayServ Tax and EZjet GT, to receive the money, prosecutors said.
Ramdeo, formerly of Sunrise, South Florida man was payroll manager for the Boca Raton-based Promise Healthcare and Success Healthcare hospital management companies when he set up his own charter air service offering flights from New York City and Toronto to Guyana.
EZJet crashed in October 2012.
After his employers figured out something was amiss and confronted him, he fled and hid out in New York City for two months until federal agents tracked him down.
EZjet went bankrupt amid the legal troubles Ramdeo faced when he was sued by his former employers in Florida courts. It left many passengers on both sides of the Atlantic stranded.
The airline’s service was suspended by the US Department of Transportation in November, 2012.