Brooklyn Boro

Loan sharks sentenced 202 and 40 years for murder of business owner

February 21, 2023 Rob Abruzzese
Federal Court in Downtown Brooklyn. Eagle photo by Dipti Kumar
Share this:

A couple of loan sharks from Brooklyn and Staten Island are going to be spending a long time in prison after a federal judge handed down a pair of sentences that are nearly 250 years long combined.

Ppassim Elder and Wilbert Bryant, also known as “Bsam,” “Big Sam,” “Sam,” and “Will” and “La,” were sentenced to lengthy prison terms of 202 years and 40 years, respectively, in federal court in Brooklyn.

The two were found guilty of extortion and fraud following a three-week trial in 2021 and were sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge William F. Kuntz.

The evidence presented during the trial showed that Elder, a 43-year-old from Staten Island, and Bryant, a 58-year-old from Brooklyn, were part of an extortion scheme that led to violence against their victims, including one who was pistol-whipped and another who was fatally shot.

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

The U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Breon Peace, announced the sentence and emphasized the severity of the crimes committed by the defendants.

“The defendants are guilty of multiple crimes of violence and fraud that victimized many persons, including the patriarch of a Queens family who was gunned down in his place of business,” Peace said. “The defendants will deservedly serve lengthy prison sentences for their ruthless and vicious conduct.”

Peace expressed gratitude to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office, the New York City Police Department, and the Queens County District Attorney’s Office for their help in the investigation and prosecution.

The trial revealed that in October 2017, Bryant and his co-conspirators entered a wholesale distribution center in Queens, after Elder, known as “Big Sam”, loaned money to the son of the business owner and demanded repayment. The campaign of intimidation escalated, leading to the fatal shooting of the business owner.

Elder was also found guilty of extorting another person and punching him in front of his daughters, breaking his nose to “send a message”, as well as bank fraud conspiracy, stealing his attorney’s identity, and lying to federal officials.

In one case of bank fraud conspiracy led an elderly man to lose over $30,000 when he was tricked into believing he was buying a car, another case involved a person who lost over $150,000 when he believed he was purchasing two real estate properties.

The case was part of the Project Safe Neighborhoods program, aimed at reducing violent crime and making communities safer through partnerships between law enforcement and local communities.

The prosecution was handled by the Office’s Organized Crime and Gangs Section and was led by Assistant United States Attorneys Genny Ngai and Anna L. Karamigios.

Leave a Comment

Leave a Comment