Published on
by
Associated Press

'Toto' Constant, ex-Haitian Strongman, Found Guilty of Fraud

by

NEW YORK - A once-feared Haitian paramilitary leader has been convicted in a New York mortgage fraud scheme to cheat lenders out of $1.7 million.A Brooklyn jury found Emmanuel "Toto" Constant guilty on Friday of fraud and grand larceny. He faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced on Sept. 10.

Human rights groups say that in the early 1990s, Constant led a gang of thugs that terrorized and slaughtered slum-dwellers loyal to ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. When Aristide returned to power in 1994, Constant slipped into the United States.

New York prosecutors said Constant helped hatch a scheme to buy dilapidated homes and resell them at inflated prices to so-called stray buyers who took out loans that were never repaid. His lawyer said he was framed.

© 2008 Associated Press

Mid-Year Campaign: Your Support is Needed Now.

Common Dreams is a small non-profit - Over 90% of the Common Dreams budget comes from reader support. No advertising; no paywalls: our content is free. But our costs are real. Common Dreams needs your help today! If you're a regular reader—or maybe a new one—and you haven't yet pitched in, could you make a contribution today? Because this is the truth: Readers, like you, keep us alive. Please make a donation now so we can continue to work for you.

Share This Article

More in: