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Post date: March 13 2015

A.G. Schneiderman And DOI Commissioner Mark G. Peters Announces Sentencing Of Former Executives Of Not For Profit Organization Convicted Of Conspiring To Steal From The City Through Senior Lunch Program

Following 11 count convictions by a jury, defendant Chan Jamoona was sentenced to 5 years’ probation and $45,000 fine; defendant Veda Jamoona, convicted of Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, was sentenced to 3 years’ probation and $5,000 fine

While heading Queens nonprofit, duo conspired with caterer to steal at least $50K In Overbilling And Kickback Scheme

Schneiderman: My Office Will Prosecute Those Who Defraud Vital NY Programs To The Fullest Extent Of The Law

NEW YORK - Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and New York City Department of Investigation (DOI) Commissioner Mark G. Peters today announced the sentencing of Chan Jamoona and Veda Jamoona convicted of conspiring to steal more than $50,000 from a lunch program for senior citizens run by the nonprofit United Hindu Cultural Council of USA North America Inc. (UHCC)  by falsifying documents related to the lunch program with another defendant, the caterer for the lunch program who admitted to giving kickbacks to the Jamoonas.  Chan Jamoona was sentenced by the Honorable John B. Latella in New York State Supreme Court for Queens County to five years probation and a $45,000 fine; Veda Jamoona was sentenced to three years probation and a $5,000 fine.

The defendants were convicted on November 21, 2014 after a jury trial for crimes related to their scheme to steal money from the New York City Department for the Aging (“DFTA”) by submitting false monthly Contract and Service Invoice Reports to DFTA containing inflated numbers of seniors receiving lunches at the United Hindu Cultural Council (“UHCC”) senior center and inflated costs of the lunches provided by Sonny’s Roti Shop (hereinafter referred to as the “Roti Shop”).  Defendant Chan Jamoona was convicted of eleven Class E felony counts, including Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree, seven counts of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, and two counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree.  Defendant Veda Jamoona was convicted of a Class E felony count, Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree.  Prior to the trial, on June 20, 2013, the Roti Shop owner, Steven Rajkumar, pleaded guilty to Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree and was sentenced to a conditional discharge and restitution of $25,000.

“These defendants stole from the senior center lunch program, putting personal greed ahead of the basic needs of New York seniors,” Attorney General Schneiderman said. “When it comes to services vital for our seniors, we cannot accept fraud as a cost of doing business. My office will prosecute fraud in critical New York programs to the fullest extent of the law.”

DOI Commissioner Peters said,“UHCC executives deliberately and cynically stole funds that should have been used to provide food and services for elderly clients. Not-for-profit organizations that take advantage of our seniors ‎have no business receiving public funds."

The indictment charged the two former UHCC executive directors—Chan Jamoona, 68, of Queens and her daughter, Veda Jamoona, 30, of Manhattan and Queens—of perpetrating a long-running scheme in which the senior center operator inflated bills submitted to New York City’s Department for the Aging (DFTA). To carry out the scheme, the indictment alleges that the defendants directed UHCC workers to falsify invoices from the senior center’s caterer, Sonny's Roti Shop in Queens, and provide fake signatures on sign-in sheets.  The indictment also alleged that the owner of Sonny's Roti Shop, Steven Rajkumar, 57, of Queens, then kicked a portion of the inflated payments back to Chan Jamoona.  

The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Jihee G. Suh and Senior Counsel Wanda Perez Maldonado. The Public Integrity Deputy Bureau Chief is Stacy Aronowitz. The Chief is Daniel Cort.  Kelly Donovan is the Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice. The joint investigation between the Attorney General's Office and DOI began after referrals from DFTA and the New York State Office for the Aging.

Attorney General Schneiderman and DOI Commissioner Peters thanked DFTA and the New York State Office for the Aging for their assistance provided during the investigation. They also recognize the diligent work of OAG staff, including Legal Support Analysts Casey Lasda, Morgan McCollum, and Kerry Ann Rodriguez, and, from the Investigations Bureau, Investigators Sixto Santiago, Gerard Matheson, Sal Ventola, Anna Ospanova, and Elsa Rojas, Supervising Investigator Michael Ward, Deputy Chief John McManus and Chief Dominick Zarrella; and DOI staff, including  Chief Forensic Auditor Ivette Morales and Special Investigator Nicole Clyne. 

Anyone with additional information on this matter or any other public corruption is encouraged to contact the Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-996-4630.

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