The verdict came back on the Care International trial in Boston, after only several days of deliberation. Are the feds getting better at prosecuting these cases?
"BOSTON— Three former leaders of an Islamic charity were convicted Friday of duping the U.S. government into getting tax-exempt status by hiding the group's pro-jihad activities."
"Care International Inc. described its mission as helping war orphans, widows and refugees in Muslim nations. But prosecutors said the organization also distributed a newsletter promoting jihad and supported Muslim militants involved in armed conflicts around the world."
"Emadeddin Muntasser, the founder of Care International; Muhammed Mubayyid, the group's former treasurer; and Samir Al-Monla, the president of Care from 1996 to 1998, were charged with tax code violations, making false statements and conspiracy to defraud the United States."
"The federal jury found them guilty on all counts, except a false statements count on which Al-Monla was acquitted."
" 'Today's verdict is a milestone in our efforts against those who conceal their support for extremist causes behind the veil of humanitarianism. For years, these defendants used an allegedly charitable organization as a front for the collection of donations that they converted for the purpose of supporting violent jihadists,' Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Wainstein in Washington said in a statement."
"Defense attorneys, who did not immediately return calls for comment Friday, had accused prosecutors of trying to sensationalize the charges into a terrorism case by highlighting the newsletter."
"Muntasser, 42, owner of the Logan Furniture Co., was born in Libya and now lives in Braintree. Mubayyid, 42, was born in Lebanon and now lives in Shrewsbury. Al-Monla, 50, was born in Kuwait, now lives in Boston and is a U.S. citizen."
Can/will they appeal? Will Harvey Silverglate and Susan Estrich continue to represent them?
Bravo to the FBI and DOJ. You can read the DOJ press release here. Excerpt:
K"enneth Wainstein, Assistant Attorney General for National Security; U.S. Attorney Michael J. Sullivan; Warren T. Bamford, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation - New England Field Division; and Douglas A. Bricker, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation - Boston Field Office, announced today that EMADEDDIN MUNTASSER, age 43, of Braintree, SAMIR ALMONLA, age 50, of Brookline, and MUHAMED MUBAYYID, age 42, of Shrewsbury, were each convicted by a jury sitting before U.S. District Judge F. Dennis Saylor, IV, of Conspiring to Defraud the United States and Engaging in a Scheme to Conceal Information from the U.S. Government. In addition, MUNTASSER was convicted of Making False Statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation during an interview conducted in April 2003 and MUBAYYID was convicted of three separate counts of Making and Filing False Tax Returns on behalf of Care International, Inc. (“Care International”) for tax years 1997, 1999, and 2000. MUBAYYID was also convicted of obstructing and impeding the Internal Revenue Service. AL-MONLA was acquitted on one count of making false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation during an interview conducted in April 2003."
Re: sentencing, from the DOJ press release:
"Judge Saylor scheduled sentencing hearings for the defendants on April 2rd, 3rd, and 4th, 2008. MUNTASSER, MUBAYYID and AL-MONLA each face up to 5 years in prison followed by 3 years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine for each of the following counts...."
My previous postings on the Care International trial here.