November 16, 2001

Student Arrested on Mail Fraud Charges

Print More

Last Wednesday, police arrested 22-year-old Cornell University engineering student Junaid Ahmed ’02 in connection with 13 counts of mail fraud stemming from his own allegedly forged University application.

“The investigation uncovered allegations of false documentation and forged documents [in connection with Ahmed],” said Binghamton Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Walsh.

Walsh is the prosecuting attorney for the case. He noted how the University and Cornell University Police (CUPD) began the investigation and then worked alongside several government law enforcers to investigate the allegations.

“The University essentially conducted an internal investigation which resulted in what we allege to be criminal conduct [involving Ahmed’s] original application [to Cornell] and admission as a result of his application,” Walsh said.

Ahmed faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of the 13 counts.

The count of mail fraud, as defined by Ahmed’s indictment, is attempting to perpetrate an illegal scheme using mail delivered by the United States Postal Service to the University by any private carrier with foreknowledge.

The investigation encompassed members of the FBI and the United States Marshall’s Service for the Northern District of New York.

Walsh stated that by Wednesday, investigators had enough information about his alleged criminal activities to arrest Ahmed and charge him with the counts of mail fraud. U.S. Magistrate Judge Gary Sharpe ordered Ahmed into police custody in Binghamton pending a hearing on Monday.

“[The hearing] will be the next step in the case,” said Linda Grace-Kobas, director of the Cornell News Service.

This case begins with Ahmed’s original application to the College of Engineering, which, according to allegations detailed in the indictment, include forged and fraudulent information regarding his high school transcript.

“In or about September of 1996, the defendant, Junaid Ahmed, applied to Cornell University for admission to the College of Engineering. On or about Dec. 20, 1996, Cornell University received a document entitled ‘Secondary School Report,’ which appeared to have been prepared by [his] secondary school