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Limo Owner Had Criminal Record, Served as Informant
11 October 2018, 10:36 | Glen Norman
Owner of limo company in horrific crash was an FBI informant
Hussain is the registered owner of four livery companies that share the same Wilton address - Prestige Limousine, Chauffeur Service Saratoga, Luxury Limousine and Hasy Limousine.
The birthday party guests were riding in a 2001 Ford Expedition that was converted into a limousine.
Following his arrest in December 2001, and while facing the prospect of a long prison term and eventual deportation to his native Pakistan, Hussain agreed to become an informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
The limo company said in a statement that it "extends its deepest condolences to the family members and friends of those who tragically lost their lives on Saturday", CNN reported.
He said both Prestige Limousines and the specific vehicle in question had been under scrutiny in the past, and that officers had now "located the owner of the company".
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said at a Monday press conference that the limo had failed a state Department of Motor Vehicles inspection just a month before and was not supposed to be on the road.
Albany-based lawyer Dana Salazar, who represented Mr Hussain in an unrelated civil case, confirmed to the Rochester Democrat & Chronicle on Monday that her client was the informant.
According to USA media reports, Mr Hussain left Pakistan in the 1990s to seek asylum in the USA after being accused of murder.
Hussain pleaded guilty to a felony in relation to the DMV scam but avoided prison and deportation by becoming an informant, working in New York's Muslim communities to find people who had radical tendencies.
In one case, he helped convict men accused of plotting to bomb NY synagogues.
Shahed Hussain is out of the country and did not attend the interview, police said.
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".
Cornett, the motel's manager, said they occasionally receive mail there related to the limo company, but that Hussain kept the vehicles at another location.
Officers said the driver of the limousine, identified on social media as Scott Lisinicchia, was not licensed to drive a vehicle with more than 15 passengers. "I join all New Yorkers in mourning these deaths and share in the unspeakable sorrow experienced by their families and loved ones during this extremely hard time".
Among those killed were four sisters, two brothers - one of which was recently married and whose wife also died in the crash - and the two brothers' stepfather.
Shahed Hussain is the owner of Prestige Limousine, which had an aging fleet of card and a record of failed inspections.
In brief remarks Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said the vehicle that crashed failed a NY state inspection last month. The companies' vehicles were driven a total of 3,500 miles last year, and had no accidents in the previous two years, according to the database.
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