THE NEW YORK TIMES
July 7, 2006
A former Haitian paramilitary leader accused of mass murder has been charged with being part of a mortgage fraud ring in New York, according to an indictment unsealed yesterday.
The man, Emmanuel Constant, was arrested on Wednesday and is expected to be arraigned today in state court in Riverhead, in Suffolk County. Mr. Constant, who is also known as Toto, was one of six people charged with grand larceny, forgery and falsifying records for fraud that the authorities said occurred between 2004 and this year.
The indictment said Mr. Constant helped defraud SunTrust Bank of more than $1 million last year.
In the 1990’s, Mr. Constant was head of a right-wing paramilitary group known as Fraph and translated variously as the Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti.
In 2000, a Haitian court convicted him and sentenced him to life in prison in a massacre of slum-dwellers during a brutal period of military rule in the early 1990’s. He had fled Haiti for the United States in the mid-1990’s, however, and has not served any of the sentence. He was detained by the Immigration and Naturalization Service for about a year but was released in 1996.
Last year, Mr. Constant was sued in federal court in Manhattan by a coalition of advocacy groups on behalf of Haitian women who say they were systematically gang-raped under his direction.
A hearing is scheduled in the case next month.