EZjet Boss withdraws guilty plea, petitions Court for additional Defense Counsel

The embattled Guyanese businessman, Sonny Ramdeo.
The embattled Guyanese businessman, Sonny Ramdeo.

[www.inewsguyana.com]The embattled founder of EZjet, Sonny Ramdeo has indicated his intention to the District Court of Florida to withdraw his guilty plea and has also presented a motion seeking an additional defense counsel.

In his motion, Ramdeo explained his dissatisfaction with his current defense counsel, stating that he lost critical evidence in the case. In October, Ramdeo of Windsor Forest, West Coast Demerara pleaded guilty to wire fraud to the tune in excess of US$20million.

In the motion filed today, Tuesday December 3, Ramdeo is claiming that when he was arrested on December 11, 2012, he was not advised of the probable cause for the arrest and he was not read his Miranda rights.

It was noted that at the initial appearance, Ramdeo was deemed indigent in which it was asserted that Ms. Vanessa Chen offered to represent him since she had more familiarity with the case than any other attorneys in the district. However, the Judge refused to allow Ms. Chen to represent the defendant, stating that ”I don’t think she is going to drive all this way” without allowing the defendant to contact Ms. Chen.

It was noted that the defendant’s family hired the firm of Funk, Szachacz & Diamond, LLC to represent the defendant.


Ramdeo dissatisfied with Counsel

In the motion, Ramdeo noted that the defendant has been waiting for defense counsel to prepare his case for trial since being appointed, which included filing motions, reviewing the applicable evidence, investigating the matter or gathering any additional evidence.

Ramdeo believes that in this case, his defense counsel was unavailable at the ”critical stages” in preparing the case for trial.

According to the motion, “Defense counsel did not review the defendant’s indictment until 45 days after being appointed when the case was set for possible trial in mid- July or mid-August. Defense counsel did not begin evidence review until there was less than 30 days to prepare for trial.

Defense counsel refused to file motions to extend the deadline in order to file pre-trial motions (whether necessary or not), failed to file motion to suppress.”

Ramdeo also noted that his defense counsel did not issue any subpoenas for records and information relevant to the case.

“Defense counsel failed to compel the government to turn over all evidence under the standing discovery order. Indeed defense counsel lost a listing of pertinent evidence provided to him to demand from the government and only mentioned it towards the end of September, 2013.”

Ramdeo is arguing that he is not being fairly represented by the counsel and therefore asked the Court to appoint an additional counsel to supervise the work that needs to be performed in ensuring that he is fairly represented and assist as needed.

Ramdeo was initially scheduled to be sentenced on January 13, 2014, following his plea. Ramdeo is the founder of EZjet, a low-cost charter that he started up in 2011 and which folded last December, following his arrest in Brooklyn by US federal agents.



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