Tags: US | Islamic | Charity | Trial

Trial Begins in Islamic Charity Tax Case

Monday, 30 Aug 2010 02:17 PM


  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink

Jury selection began Monday in the trial of a corporate officer in a defunct Islamic charity who is accused of taking $150,000 from an Egyptian donor, laundering it through the charity, and trying to send it to revolutionaries fighting to create an Islamic state in the Russian republic of Chechnya.

Pete Seda, also known as Pirouz Sedaghaty, faces charges of conspiracy, tax fraud and failing to report sending $150,000 out of the country.

He has pleaded not guilty, contending the money was for refugees, not fighters.

The federal indictment alleges that as secretary of Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation, Inc., in Ashland, Seda conspired with fellow foundation officer Soliman Hamd Al-Buthe to launder a contribution from an Egyptian man through the charity so that it looked like the money was being used to help buy a prayer house in Missouri. Instead, the government alleges Seda helped arrange for Al-Buthe to fly with the money to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, where he deposited it in a bank.

Lawyers have been prohibited by the judge from referring to anyone in the trial as a terrorist, talking about the time Seda spent as a fugitive, or mentioning a separate case involving Al-Haramain where a federal judge ruled the government's program of wiretapping suspected terrorists without getting a judge's approval was illegal.

The U.S. government declared Al-Haramain a terrorist organization, seizing and selling off its assets, including the house in Ashland that served as U.S. headquarters for the charity and Seda's home. The Saudi Arabian government dissolved the parent organization.

Born in Iran, Seda went to college in Ashland, Ore., staying on to raise a family and start an arborist business. As secretary of the foundation, he incorporated it in Oregon as a nonprofit charity dedicated to peaceful purposes. He often spoke out on the peaceful aspects of Islam on panel discussions and a local radio talk show.

Prior to his indictment, Seda left the country, but returned three years ago to face trial, and has been living in Portland, free on bail.

Al-Buthe was also indicted, but remains in Saudi Arabia, where he cannot be extradited.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
Retype Email:
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Gallup Poll: Most Full-Time Workers Put in More Than 40 Hours

Saturday, 30 Aug 2014 21:32 PM

The 40-hour work week is usually regarded as the standard for full-timers, but many adults are working 47 hours or more  . . .

Obama Attends Wedding of Longtime Personal Chef

Saturday, 30 Aug 2014 20:16 PM

President Barack Obama set aside the pressures of the world's trouble spots on Saturday to assume the role of spectator  . . .

Bill Clinton to Speak at Miami Rally for Charlie Crist

Saturday, 30 Aug 2014 19:48 PM

Former President Bill Clinton will be the keynote speaker at a rally in Miami Friday for Democrat gubernatorial candidat . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved