Owner of Company Behind Deadly NY Limo Crash Was FBI Informant

Owner of limousine that crashed killing 20 was FBI informant who testified in terrorism trials

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.

Scott Lisinicchia - who was behind the wheel of the 2011 Ford Excursion before the crash - was cited for operating the same limo without a proper license by a state trooper in August.

Hussain's limousine company is under scrutiny.

Hussain could not be reached for comment Monday.

"They asked me about the limo company", he said. State police are also looking into that. Nauman Hussain was accompanied at the interview by his attorney, Lee Kindlon of Albany. In April 2003, he was working as a government translator when he pleaded guilty to a federal fraud charge for helping someone get their driver's license illegally. The newspaper notes that Hussain is also known as "Malik".

Reporters on Monday inquired about Hussain's criminal history, asking police whether Hussain was the same man who had testified in a federal criminal case in Albany in 2014, to which Patnaude replied, "I would refer you to the FBI". He was reportedly posing as a radical arms dealer.

Aref and Mohammed Hossain were both arrested in 2004 and accused of laundering money in connection with a fictitious terror plot set up by the FBI's informant.

His cooperation resulted in the conviction of the four men in the thwarted plot. Aref was recently released from prison and is being held in custody pending his deportation to Iraq.

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During the Albany trial, there was testimony that the informant's recorded conversations with the Albany targets were in Urdu.

But the conviction against the four men - Onta Williams, Laguerre Payen, James Cromitie and David Williams IV - has been criticized as an example of the Federal Bureau of Investigation using entrapment techniques to goad suspects into terrorist acts in order to get convictions.

Despite being exposed, Hussain never left the area, according to the Times Union.

The day-to-day operation of the company is overseen by Hussain's son, according to the paper, and police said that the former informant is now out of the country.

The four men were impoverished and had no links to worldwide terrorist organizations. Al-Akili said he found the number and its connection to that case through a simple Internet search using Google.

In more recent years, he was the owner of a low-budget motel, the Crest Inn Suites and Cottages, outside Saratoga Springs. Hussain said the accusation was false and politically motivated.

Several years ago, Hussain tangled with the town of Wilton for running his limo business out of the back of the hotel without a permit.

In brief remarks Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the vehicle that crashed failed a NY state inspection last month. The national average is 20 percent.

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