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New court documents: Prestige Limo business operator misrepresented himself to state officials

April 24, 2019 07:53 PM

NewsChannel 13 Investigates has tracked down new court documents filed in the deadly limousine crash in Schoharie.

The 10-page notice filed by Schoharie County District Attorney Susan Mallery outlines oral statements that could be made at the trial of Prestige Limousine's business operator, Nauman Hussain next fall. Testimony from state employees, including New York State Police.

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When Hussain first learned of the crash by phone call from New York State Police, he asked the trooper on the other end of the line if his driver Scott Lisinicchia was okay. Hussain also asked the State Police investigator if this was a prank.

Hours after the crash in Schoharie on October 6, 2018 that killed 20 people including the driver of a 2001 Ford Excursion Stretch Limo, the company's business operator, Nauman Hussain, was contacted by New York State Police. When asked if he owned the limo company involved, Nauman Hussain stated, "My father has been out of the country for six months so I'm running the company while he is gone".

In another interview that same day at the New York State Police barracks in Latham, Nauman Hussain told police his father Shahed Hussain owned Prestige Limousine, Husy Limo and Saratoga Luxury Limousine, that his father wasn't returning to the United States anytime soon -- and in his absence, Nauman Hussain managed his father's three businesses.

The trooper then wrote, "Hussain asked me if he was in any trouble for this limo incident. I asked him if he did anything to the vehicle to cause the crash. He said no," (State Police Investigator Ericka Hock.)

Three other court documents outline nine separate phone calls and in person meetings starting in January of 2018 and ending the day before the accident with state investigators. It appears according to the court paperwork, Nauman Hussain presented himself as his father on all but two occasions, telling the inspector when confronted, he had the authority to act for his dad.

On January 8, 2018 the man identifying himself as Shahed Hussain confirmed he was with "Saratoga Luxury Limo" and they had a 2001 Ford Limo. The inspector then announced a notice of violation based on the availability of a stretch Ford Excursion for use.

On January 12, 2018, the limo reportedly wasn't available for inspection. The inspector was told they could find it at Mavis.

On March 15, 2018 there was more talk to schedule a terminal roadside inspection, according to court documents.

On March 21, 2018 during an in person meeting in Saratoga, the man claiming to be Shahed Hussain expressed interest in bringing the limo into "compliance and bringing the vehicle up to speed." Regarding inspections just done, the individual stated "He had a couple of tan limos and replied, I must've put the wrong plates on the wrong vehicle."

On August 2, 2018 there was more talk of compliance and an outstanding notice of violation.

On August 25, 2018 Nauman Hussain told New York State Police he, not his father, owned Saratoga Luxury Limo. Hussain told NYSP "I am just starting Saratoga Luxury Limousine. I don't have a DOT number (assigned to my company). I am aware that I needed to get a name and DOT number on the side of my vehicle. I talked with DOT earlier he said I need the name and number in the sides of the limo. I'm not sure (when asked other DOT workers he had contact with)."

On August 27, 2018, the inspector announced the 2001 Ford Excursion was found in violation, and a roadside inspection was scheduled.

On September 4, 2018 court records show, Nauman Hussain initially passed himself off as his father in person, then clarified the legal business name was Prestige. At that time, Nauman Hussain records show was told to complete the terminal roadside inspection, and review the defects found and told him of compliances that were required.  "I asked the individual, "Shahed Hussain?. The individual responded, "Yes". I asked him, "Who is Nauman Hussain?" The individual responded, "It is me."  I asked him, "Who is Shahed Hussain, then?" The individual responded, "He is my father." I asked him for further clarification for the legal business name and he told me Prestige Limousine. I asked if it was a DBA and he stated it was under Shahed Hussain. He stated it was a sole proprietorship. I asked if he had authority to act for Shahed Hussain and he stated that he did."

The final phone call to Nauman Hussain a day before the crash on October 5, 2018, the investigator requested DBA documents and drug and alcohol testing info and quote "arrangements for sending those items to me and in regards to a notice the individual received by email."

Defense Attorney Lee Kindlon told NewsChannel 13, "We probably won't be commenting on individual pieces of evidence."


MORE INFORMATION: People vs. Nauman Hussain

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Jill Konopka

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