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United Hindu Cultural Council founder arrested in overbilling and kickback scheme: AG

TimesLedger Newspapers

The founder of the United Hindu Cultural Council Senior Center in South Ozone Park was arrested on charges she stole tens of thousands of dollars from the organization’s lunch program through an overbilling and kickback scheme, the state attorney general said Monday.

Chan Jamoona, 66, who also serves on the Queens General Assembly, was charged with grand larceny and conspiracy along with several other counts and faces a five-to-15 year sentence.

“By stealing from the senior center lunch program, the defendants put personal greed ahead of the basic needs of New York seniors,” Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said Monday. “When it comes to services vital for our seniors, we cannot accept fraud as a cost of doing business.”

According to Schneiderman, Jamoona and her daughter, Veda Jamoona, 28, who is a staffer in Comptroller John Liu’s public affairs office and a former executive director of the council, are accused of making off with $50,000 between 2007 and 2010 by sending fake bills for seniors’ meals to the city Department for the Aging, which funded the program.

Steven Rajkumar, 57, owner of the council’s caterer, Sonny’s Roti Shop in South Ozone Park, was also charged in connection with the scheme. He is accused of receiving payments for the false invoices and kicking some of the money back to Chan Jamoona, Schneiderman said.

When asked for comment, both Chan Jamoona and Rajkumar said the information provided from the attorney general’s office was incorrect, but neither would elaborate.

Liu’s office released a statement saying Veda Jamoona was suspended without pay until further notice. She has worked at the comptroller’s office since January 2012 at an annual salary of $55,000.

Reach reporter Karen Frantz by e-mail at kfrantz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4538.

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Singh from Richmind Hill says:
Ms. Jamoona is being persecuted by certain individuals because she is serving her people well. This is a political issue. She is a good human being who is serving the elderly in her community. This is the only Senior Center dedicated to the West Indian, Caribbean and Indian population. All this is fabrication and the truth will reveal itself. Who in their right frame of mind would steal such a meager sum over a ten year period. She and her daughter are professionals they don’t need handout from the City. Certain people within the City of New York has been attempting to shut them down for years and when they couldn’t they then came up with these allegation. The Truth shall set us free.
Feb. 27, 2013, 8:31 pm
Cynthia from Brooklyn says:
Chan Jamoona is a conniving, underhanded, self-serving person. She has been doing this for years. She used her connections to get her kids into Catholic Charities and boy did they benefit. She lives in her own little world, where she thinks she is a gift to people. We hope justice prevails. It's about time someone took her down a few notches.
March 20, 2013, 4:12 pm
Samantha from Queens says:
It's very hard to believe that these allegations are false when in fact the DOI has based their findings on not only one conflicting piece of evidence; but on various findings during the period of time in question.

In addition, politics or not; what is in black and white is in black and white - there is no reversal when one signs off on any document (in this case government documentation) you are held accountable 100% by your signature. With all the intelligence and community involvement of these individuals - the reasoning of accountability being held on all counts is not a complex one.

What may have started out as a heartfelt gesture, seems to have have gotten influenced along the way.
April 5, 2013, 12:42 am
Ready from Queens says:
Cynthia you seem to be very confused, neither her or her children have anything to do with Catholic Charities. Your reader feedback seems to be simply angry and without any basis. Samantha unless you have actually visualized this evidence yourself, I wouldn't jump so fast. In actuality, evidence is yet to be seen. Realistically 50 K over the course of 10-11 years, and then split up between 4 people. please guys lets be real. Let us use some level of logic. Lets use our critical thinking skills here that we learned in elementary school science class.
June 9, 2013, 11:27 am
Kevin says:
Black and White? All we have seen are these warped articles with no reliable evidence and Schneiderman's political ambitions to massage the powers into nominating him for governor. I think Ready from Queens is right, we need to put on our critical thinking hats on here. This is purely politically motivated especially with the mayoral election season in full bloom. We need to support and protect our community Leaders like Chan who are merely being used as a tool in the political tournament. Its people like her that have protected and cared for our community throughout the years never failing to meet the needs of the people. Her needs were always on a back burner. I don't even think she ever took a vacation. All I ever saw her do was work, work , work and everything involved the betterment of humanity. She is perhaps the most honest, caring and forthcoming person that I have ever met.
June 9, 2013, 12:13 pm

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