News Americas, TAMPA, Fl, Tues. Feb. 26, 2013: The Guyana-born owner of the now defunct airline, EZJet, is now set to face an April instead of a March trial.
Senior Judge Kenneth L. Ryskamp approved a request to postpone the trial of Sonny Austin Ramdeo to April 22nd. The trial was originally set to start on March 17th.
Ramdeo is accused of embezzling $20 million from his former employer in a payroll tax fraud scheme from as early as 2005 from Promise Healthcare Inc. and Success Healthcare Group, where he worked as the payroll supervisor.
As the payroll supervisor for both companies, Ramdeo managed the payroll for more than 3,500 employees in hospitals nationwide.
Federal officials say Ramdeo incorporated PayServ Tax Inc., and told the hospital chains he would handle the transfer of local, state and federal payroll taxes to the proper agencies on their behalf. Instead, authorities say, he kept the money.
In October, Promise Healthcare filed a lawsuit accusing Ramdeo of embezzling more than $5 million to keep his airline afloat.
Ramdeo is being represented by a public defender, Attorney Robert E. Adler. He has pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Ramdeo, 35, started EZJet last year, as the cheaper alternative to fly on the New York to Guyana route. The airline collapsed last November. EZJet follows the trail of former national carrier, New Age Air Services, Guyana Air 2002, Guyana Airways and Universal Airlines, which all went belly up. North American airlines, which flew to Guyana for many years, pulled out to serve certain U.S. government agencies.
The Guyana government has since negotiated with Caribbean Airlines the placement of additional flights on the New York – Georgetown route