JAMAICA-ST. ALBANS, Queens (PIX11) – After we aired our first report about Brian Leiba’s loan scheme, we heard from three more women in the Jamaica-St. Albans area of Queens. They tell a similar story to Nan and Deovkasutram Ramoutar. They describe how Brian Leiba, who says he’s a pastor, befriended them. Then, a few weeks afterwards he asked for a loan. He puts it in writing and promises to pay back even more in a short time. Only problem is, the pay back it never happens.
“He says he’s gonna pay me back 2-thousand dollars. I lent him $1750.”
That’s how Maxine Howell described it to me. All the time, the same M-O. On each occasion the people say, Leiba was accompanied by Ione Lettman. She has a real estate agency in Queens.
The Ramoutar’s claim that Nan must have been hypnotized to give Brian Leiba $7,000. They say Ione Lettman walked through their home with a bag and then fiddled with it. And somehow, Nan felt compelled to fork over the dough.
I’ve been looking for Leiba. And I thought I might have him when I got a call from Lettman’s lawyer saying she wanted to speak with me. So, last week, at her attorney’s office, we sat down for a little chat.
Howard: “Can you explain your alleged hypnosis procedure with me?”
Ione:” I wish. If I had the power you would not be sitting in front of me i would block you out! I would have blocked you.”
Howard: “We’ve interviewed five people who’ve placed you and connected you with Brian Leiba and his alleged activities and we’re trying to establish what your relationship with him is, but more importantly, where is Brian Leiba?”
Ione:” I have no knowledge. And if I speak one more time he rented space from me and I’m a part of the church. I don’t do anything wrong. There was no check given to me.”
Howard: “We’re you aware at any time that people were having issues him, that he was taking money from people and making promises that he so far has not been able to keep. He was taking money from people and not returning the money?”
Ione:” Let me tell you something. I don’t have time to track Mr. Leiba’s actions.”
Howard: “But were you aware of that?”
Ione: “I was only aware of the fundraising we were working together.”
So, Lettman claims she has no idea where Leiba is. We’ll see if they turn up together again. I’m staying on this one.