A Brooklyn federal jury convicted Ppassim Elder and Wilbert Bryant of extortion, bank fraud, firearms and murder offenses. When sentenced, the defendants will face up to life in prison.
It was proven at the trial that Bryant and two others walked into a family-owned wholesale distribution business in Ozone Park, Queens. The group said that Elder sent them to collect his money. After a failure of the victim's son to repay money owed to Elder, a campaign of intimidation against the family ensued until October 23, 2017, when the perpetrators fatally shot the man's father in the face.
"With today's verdict, a jury has held the defendants accountable for their heinous crimes, including the murder of a Queens business owner while attempting to collect a debt they claim was owed by the victim's son," Acting United States Attorney Jacquelyn M. Kasulis said. "This Office and our law enforcement partners are working tirelessly to protect the communities in our district from violent criminals like defendants who will now face very serious consequences for their actions."
Elder also extorted other victims, defrauding people across the country, including a man who lost over $30,000 after being tricked into believing he was buying a car, and another who lost $150,000 after being convinced he was buying two real estate properties. Elder was convicted of these crimes.