New York state officials say a limousine involved in a deadly crash in the town of Schoharie on Saturday had failed an inspection last month and was not licensed to be on the road. The crash, which killed 20 people, was the deadliest U.S. transportation disaster since 2009.
New York state officials are investigating the owner of the Prestige Limousine Chauffeur Service company, a Pakistani immigrant named “Malik” Shahed Hussain. In 2001, Hussain was arrested for helping people cheat on driver’s license tests. In exchange for avoiding deportation, he took a job as an FBI confidential informant, posing as a radical arms dealer in FBI sting operations. Hussain was a key figure in the FBI’s case against the so-called Newburgh Four—four Muslim men sentenced to 25-year prison terms after they were convicted for placing what they thought were bombs in a New York synagogue in 2010. Defense attorneys say the men were entrapped by government agents. Hussain’s backstory emerged as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he may face criminal charges for the crash.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo: “We inspected the vehicle just last month. It failed the inspection. The driver did not have the appropriate license. So I think the owner of this company, the owner of Prestige, has a lot of questions to answer. There’s an ongoing investigation. But is there a possibility liability, civil and criminal? Certainly.”