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  • Charity Leader Released as FBI Evidence Tampering Becomes Issue in Case | Charity & Security Network
    motion seeking his release and a new trial based on recent revelations that the FBI apparently deleted a key sentence from a prosecution witness summary provided to the defense before the trial It said the witness did not recall Sedaghaty discussing the topic of Kosovo or supporting mujahedin there The Ashland OR Daily Tidings reported that at the hearing The government also admitted giving the defense team conflicting versions of a report from an August 2007 interview FBI agent David Carroll had with Richard Cabral the deceased husband of prosecution witness Barbara Cabral Post trial evidence revealed the Cabrals had been paid 14 500 by the FBI prior to the trial but the defense was not informed until afterwards The defense learned about the payments and inconsistencies in the witness statement reports after prosecutors asked U S Attorney Dwight Holton to approve an additional payment of 7 500 to Barbara Cabral He denied the request and ordered the information to be turned over the defense The prosecution team of Gorder terrorism AUSA for Oregon Cardani AUSA Eugene Anderson IRS and Carroll FBI are all off the case The judge gave both sides in the case 30 days to file briefs on whether Seda should get a new trial but no hearing date has been set Seda s lawyers said they will be filing a motion to dismiss the indictment For more background on the case see Prosecutors Admit Failure to Turn Over Key Documents to Convicted Co Found of Al Haramain OR Issues Humanitarian Access Material Support Financial Action Task Force FATF Financial Access Peacebuilding Countering Violent Extremism Click Here For More Issues Solutions Principles to Guide Solutions Models to Draw On Proposed Solutions News The latest headlines Resources Litigation Analysis Background Legislation Studies Reports Experts Blog About Us Staff

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/new/Seda_FBI_Docs_Altered (2016-02-16)
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  • Prosecutors Admit Failure to Turn Over Key Documents to Convicted Co-Founder of Al Haramain (Oregon) | Charity & Security Network
    previously disclosed some of which involved payments and discussions of potential further payments Failure to provide Seda with this information prior to trial is an apparent violation of Rule 16 of the Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure which requires the prosecution to turn over records material to preparing a defense before trial as an essential element of due process In particular the Brady rule named after the 1963 Supreme Court case Brady v Maryland requires prosecutors to turnover information that may help the defense such as statements that conflict with a prosecution witness s testimony or information such as the cash payments in this case that would allow the defense to attack the credibility of a prosecution witness Seda s motion for a new trial noted that It is axiomatic that payments and offers of payments are among the most fundamental of tools for impeachment and that their pre trial disclosure is required Tom Nelson one of Seda s attorneys reacted to the news of the witness payments by saying This was not disclosed to defense counsel prior to the trial and had it been it would have been the source of deep searching and long lasting cross examination the FBI or at least the FBI in Oregon simply cannot be trusted Secret cash payments to witnesses willing to say what the FBI wants should be unthinkable in American courts but here we have a clear cut case of precisely that happening Assistant U S Attorney Kelly Zusman told the Associated Press that What has changed since Seda was taken into custody at the close of the trial is that the United States has discovered some materials that should have been turned over to the defense during pretrial discovery In Jan 13 2011 court filings the government said it will take no position on whether Seda should be released The details of the withheld information are provided in an affidavit from James Strupp an investigator for the federal public defender s office An additional motion asks the court for further investigation and an evidentiary hearing to uncover the extent of the government s failings It states that Seda takes strong issue with the government s statement that its failure to comply with its obligations can be characterized as inadvertent Moreover the full extent of the government s failings is not known at this time The record as it exists now suggests that this case has been infected with governmental conduct so extreme that dismissal of the indictment is warranted A previous motion for new trial based on appeals to prejudice was filed on Sept 23 2010 A footnote summary in the new motion says 3 E g 1 the government appealed to prejudice by referring to the defendant s association with a strident form of Islam that promoted acts of violence and a kill people jihad and by telling the jury that The Noble Qur an is the defendant calling it junk waving it before the jury and slamming it

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/Prosecutors_Admit_Failure_Key%20Documents_Convicted_Al-Haramain (2016-02-16)
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  • Oregon Charity Founder Convicted of Tax Charges | Charity & Security Network
    attorneys say the money was a charitable donation that his accountant forgot to disclose on the charity s tax forms Seda and the charity have drawn intense scrutiny from the U S government In 2004 Treasury listed both the Ashland OR chapter of Al Haramain and its parent organization in Saudi Arabia as terrorist groups Subsequently the Ashland branch s assets were seized and the charity was effectively closed A federal judge ruled in 2008 that the charity s constitutional right to refute Treasury s designation had been violated Additionally lawyers for the charity sued the government for wiretapping their phone conversations without a warrant A federal appeals judge ruled in May 2010 that those wiretaps violated the law Al Haramain has proposed that that in lieu of a transfer of those damages and likewise compensatory damages into AHIF s block account the Court shall order their cy pres distribution to one or more other charitable organizations whose missions are consistent with the nature of the underlying action The motion for new trial asks the trial court to take a step back from the proceedings and individual rulings that have been made and consider the cumulative impact of the manner in which the case proceeded particularly 1 the cumulative prejudicial impact of the government focus on Islam terrorism and anti Semitism in a case that is charged as essentially a tax case and review specific rulings on the evidence The motion also alleges appeals to prejudice including anti Islamic statements and actions A native of Iran Seda has been a naturalized U S citizen for 16 years attended Southern Oregon University and had lived in Oregon for almost 25 years Friends of Seda including a Rabbi who spoke as a character witness during the trial were surprised by the verdict

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/Oregon_Charity_Founder_Convicted_Tax_Charges (2016-02-16)
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  • Convictions Reinstated for Boston Charity Officials | Charity & Security Network
    U S District Court judge had later overturned the tax conspiracy convictions saying the evidence didn t support the verdict The case has been sent back to the district court for sentencing On Jan 11 2008 the three men were convicted of tax fraud and making false statements because they did not include a description of their newsletter and its content in their tax exempt status application and annual IRS Form 990 filings The prosecution argued that the group supported jihadist movements in countries like Afghanistan through articles in its newsletter and postings on its website The Defendants claimed that that terrorism evidence admitted to prove the conspiracy charges was so extensive inflammatory and prejudicial that it must have spilled over into the jury s consideration of their guilt on other charges Issues Humanitarian Access Material Support Financial Action Task Force FATF Financial Access Peacebuilding Countering Violent Extremism Click Here For More Issues Solutions Principles to Guide Solutions Models to Draw On Proposed Solutions News The latest headlines Resources Litigation Analysis Background Legislation Studies Reports Experts Blog About Us Staff Contact Search form Search Stay Up To Date Subscribe Publications The Latest News C SN Joins More Than 50 Orgs

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/node/642 (2016-02-16)
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  • Double Standard: Chiquita Banana Fined, Not Shut Down, for Transactions with Designated Terrorists | Charity & Security Network
    company has annual revenues of approximately 4 5 billion The Cincinnati based company paid approximately 1 7 million to the United Self Defense Forces of Colombia AUC and also made payments to the leftist Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia FARC both U S designated terrorist organizations The government s designation of AUC as a terrorist organization made it illegal for anyone in the U S to knowingly provide material support including currency and monetary instruments to such organizations According to a Wall Street Journal report in 2003 outside attorneys for Chiquita notified the company that the payments violated U S anti terrorism laws and should not continue However payments to the groups continued until Chiquita sold its subsidiary Banadex in June 2004 The company reported the 25 million plea agreement to the Securities and Exchange Commission SEC The SEC filing stated In 2003 Chiquita voluntarily disclosed to the Department of Justice that its former banana producing subsidiary had been forced to make payments to right and left wing paramilitary groups in Colombia to protect the lives of its employees The company made this disclosure shortly after senior management became aware that these groups had been designated as foreign terrorist organizations under a U S statute that makes it a crime to make payments to such organizations DOJ s slap on the wrist approach exhibits clearly unequal enforcement of anti terrorist financing laws In contrast to the direct funding Chiquita paid AUC no significant evidence of terror financing by U S based charities has been found Instead questionable evidence was used to shut down the largest U S based Muslim charities including the Holy Land Foundation For additional information Slate article Bananas of Mass Destruction Chiquita Press Release See the OMB Watcher Court Upholds Islamic American Relief Agency Asset Freeze March

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/Chiquita_Banana_Fined_Not_Shut_Down_Transactions_Designated_Terrorists (2016-02-16)
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  • Oregon Charity Head Receives House Arrest for Violating Iran Sanctions | Charity & Security Network
    000 fine Yasrebi plead guilty in January 2011 to sending funds to Iran and attempting to cover up the transfer of money In 2000 Yasrebi had sent the Department of Treasury s Office of Foreign Assets Control OFAC an 86 page letter describing his intentions but did not receive a response Another inquiry in 2001 was also left unanswered According to The Oregonian an OFAC internal memo directed employees not to respond in order not to compromise a possible criminal indictment If they had told him in 2000 Stop then nothing would ever have happened says David Angeli Yasrebi s lawyer Prosecutors alleged that some of the money raised by the charity went to a controversial cleric in Iran But Yasrebi s lawyer and Judge King said the government did not produce evidence that Yasrebi or the charity were involved in funding terrorism At the outset agents were driven by concerns that Dr Yasrebi and the charity were funneling money into Iran to support terrorism said Angeli He said an eight year investigation by the FBI included wiretaps foreign travel and a late night sneak and peek inside the charity The charity was raided by government officials in 2008 Yasrebi admitted that he had violated U S economic sanctions by sending money into Iran to pay for school tuition and other expenses Additionally he attempted to cover it up by falsifying documents to deceive the U S government I jeopardized the foundation and its mission and caused a lot of pain and difficulty for many innocent people he said Yasrebi is no longer associated with the foundation which released a statement on March 5 saying it has adopted measures to ensure that our current and future operations are fully compliant with all legal requirements Issues Humanitarian Access Material Support Financial

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/news/Oregon_Charity_Head_House_Arrest_Violating_Iran_Sanctions (2016-02-16)
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  • Charity & Security Network
    s largest Muslim charity In a petition to the court defense attorneys challenged the prosecution s reliance on hearsay and the testimony of a foreign intelligence official who used a pseudonym while testifying While the judicial appeal process is now over questions remain about the status of the estimated 5 million dollars in charitable funds and other HLF assets seized by the government The charity HLF was unrepresented during the trial Click here for case background summary Read more about Top Court Decides Not to Hear Appeal in Holy Land Foundation Case U S Will Not Seek Supreme Court Review of Due Process Ruling in Al Haramain Case Date July 11 2012 The U S Solicitor General has decided not to file a request for Supreme Court review of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in Al Haramain v Treasury That ruling upheld a lower court ruling that procedures used by the Department of Treasury to shut down the Al Haramain Islamic Foundation of Oregon AHIF OR in 2004 are unconstitutional Read more about U S Will Not Seek Supreme Court Review of Due Process Ruling in Al Haramain Case Ninth Circuit Denies Government Re Hearing Request in Al Haramain Due Process Case Date March 5 2012 On Feb 27 2012 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied a Department of Justice petition asking for re hearing of its Sept 23 2011 decision in Al Haramain et al v Treasury et al The opinion made an amendment to the September 2011 opinion by clarifying it only applied to the facts in the case of Al Haramain of Oregon and did not address other scenarios raised by Justice A summary of the original opinion is here Read more about Ninth Circuit Denies Government Re Hearing Request in Al Haramain Due Process Case Charity Leader Sentenced to 33 Months for Tax Evasion Date October 17 2011 On Sept 27 2011 the former head of an Oregon based charity was sentenced to nearly three years in prison for tax evasion and conspiracy to defraud the government The sentence comes more than a year after Pete Seda the co founder of the now defunct Al Haramain Islamic Foundation in Ashland was convicted in September 2010 Federal Judge Michael Hogan said there was insufficient evidence to add an additional 8 years to the sentence for terrorism enhacement as prosecutors had requested Attorneys for Seda said they will file an appeal Read more about Charity Leader Sentenced to 33 Months for Tax Evasion Court Denies Appeal of Holy Land Foundation and Leaders Date December 20 2011 The 2008 convictions of the Holy Land Foundation HLF and five of its leaders were upheld by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals on Dec 7 2011 Because HLF was unrepresented the trial judge appointed an attorney to represent it on appeal The appeals court dismissed HLF s appeal for lack of jurisdiction saying it was unauthorized and thus invalid thereby depriving us of jurisdiction The court ruled against

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/issue/Criminal%20Cases?type=All&page=1 (2016-02-16)
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  • Charity & Security Network
    by the U S government in February 2008 Read more about Somalia Aid Trial in Minnesota Hears Closing Arguments Appeals Court Finds Treasury s Procedures in Shutting Down Charity Unconstitutional Date October 1 2011 On Sept 23 2011 the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court ruling that procedures used by the Department of Treasury to shut down the Al Haramain Islamic Foundation of Oregon AHIF OR in 2004 are unconstitutional The court said the Fifth Amendment s guarantee of due process requires Treasury to give adequate notice of the reasons it puts a group on the terrorist list as well as a meaningful opportunity to respond Read more about Appeals Court Finds Treasury s Procedures in Shutting Down Charity Unconstitutional Holy Land Jury Deliberates When Aid is Support for Terrorism Date January 1 2008 On Sept 20 2008 a Texas jury began deliberations on criminal charges of supporting terrorism brought against the Holy Land Foundation HLF and five of its leaders nearly six years after the charity was shut down and its assets seized by the U S Department of Treasury The two month long trial was the first opportunity the charity had to hear the evidence against it and present evidence in its own defense The government did not claim HLF provided direct support of Hamas or a terrorist group Read more about Holy Land Jury Deliberates When Aid is Support for Terrorism Holy Land Attorneys Ask Appeals Court to Void Convictions Date September 14 2011 On Sept 1 2011 attorneys for the Holy Land Foundation and its leaders argued before the Fifth U S Circuit Court of Appeal that they were unfairly convicted of supporting terrorism Attorneys for the Holy Land leaders argued that they were unfairly convicted based on what one attorney called a textbook on evidentiary error The charity itself which was unrepresented during the trial argued for a new trial and federal prosecutors said the charity should not be allowed to appeal because it is on the terrorist list and therefore cannot engage legal representation Oral arguments from both the defense and prosecution can be heard here A decision is expected in late 2011 Read more about Holy Land Attorneys Ask Appeals Court to Void Convictions Judge No New Trial for Seda Date August 14 2011 On Aug 10 2011 a federal judge in Oregon denied a new trial for the former leader of a now defunct charity who was convicted on tax fraud charges relating to alleged funding of Chechen rebels in Russia A defense attorney for Pete Seda the former head of Al Haramain Islamic Foundation of Oregon said he will appeal U S District Judge Michael Hogan s ruling We anticipate that many of the issues will be raised on appeal Seda s attorney said Read more about Judge No New Trial for Seda Oral Arguments in Holy Land Foundation Appeal Scheduled Date July 28 2011 On Sept 1 2011 the U S Fifth Circuit Appeals Court in New

    Original URL path: http://www.charityandsecurity.org/issue/Criminal%20Cases?type=All&page=2 (2016-02-16)
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