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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of New York

Thursday, March 8, 2018

Defendants Indicted For Murder and Extortion of Queens Business Owner

Three Defendants Allegedly Killed the Owner of a Family Business While Trying to Collect a Debt

A four-count indictment was unsealed earlier today in federal court in Brooklyn, charging Ppassim Elder, Dwayne Ling and Frederick McCoy with the October 23, 2017 murder of a Queens business owner in front of his son, as well as the extortion of that father and son.  A fourth defendant, Mahdi Abdel-Rahim, was also indicted for his role in the extortion.  He was arrested on March 1, 2018 and released on a secured bond.  Ling was arrested on March 1, 2018, and ordered detained.  Elder was arrested in Cleveland, Ohio on March 2, 2018, was presented in that district on March 5, 2018, and is being transferred in custody to the Eastern District of New York.  McCoy was arrested yesterday and will be arraigned this afternoon in federal court in Brooklyn before United States Magistrate Judge Robert M. Levy.

Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and James P. O’Neill, Commissioner, New York City Police Department (NYPD), announced the charges. 

“As alleged in the court filings, defendant Ppassim Elder exploited a business owner’s need for a loan and sent his enforcers to try to collect it, ultimately leading to a senseless and tragic murder,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue.  “No son should ever watch his father be killed.  This Office and our law enforcement partners are committed to protecting businesses in our community from violent criminals.”  Mr. Donoghue also expressed his appreciation to the Queens County District Attorney’s Office for their assistance during the investigation.

“When criminals loan money to business owners, they know they’re never going to get repaid, it’s why they loan out the money.  Once they have the victim on the hook, they use threats, intimidation and violence to harass their victims.  In this case, the victim died allegedly at the hands of his debtors,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney.  “No one should have to pay criminals with their life, and the FBI New York Joint Organized Crime Task Force won’t let these violent offenders get away with it.”

As alleged in the indictment and detailed in court filings, on the morning of October 23, 2017, three perpetrators wearing blazers—Ling, McCoy and another coconspirator—walked into Garden Valley Distributors, a family-owned grocery distribution center located in Ozone Park.  The perpetrators said that “Sam” or “Big Sam” had sent them to collect his money.  Elder, who was known as “Sam” and “Big Sam,” had given the murder victim’s son a loan, which the son used to support the business.  By March 2017, Elder demanded full repayment of the loan, but the son could not afford to repay it because much of the money had been used to purchase merchandise for Garden Valley.

In response, Elder began a campaign of intimidation against the son and his family.  Among other things, Elder paid the defendant Mahdi Abdel-Rahim to throw a rock through a window of the home of the son and his father.  When the rock did not lead to repayment of the loan, Elder sent Ling, McCoy and a third coconspirator into Garden Valley, where the perpetrators brandished a firearm, pistol-whipped the son across his head, and fatally shot the father in the face. 

All four defendants are charged with extortionate collection of credit conspiracy and extortionate collection of credit.   Elder, Ling and McCoy are also charged with brandishing a firearm in furtherance of those crimes of violence and causing the death of another through use of a firearm.  The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.  If convicted of the murder charge or firearm charge, Elder, McCoy and Ling face a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.  If convicted of the extortion charge, Abdel-Rahim faces a maximum of 20 years’ imprisonment.

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Organized Crime and Gangs Section.  Assistant United States Attorneys Andrey Spektor and Keith D. Edelman are in charge of the prosecution.

The Defendants:

PPASSIM ELDER (also known as “Sam” and “Big Sam”)
Age: 38 
Staten Island, New York

Age: 24
Brooklyn, New York

Age: 55
Brooklyn, New York

Age: 52
Brooklyn, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 18-CR-92 (WFK)

Violent Crime
John Marzulli Tyler Daniels United States Attorney’s Office (718) 254-6323
Updated March 8, 2018