From AP, :
NEW YORK – The former director of a basement mosque that prosecutors described as a “cesspool of fraud” has been convicted of defrauding the government by processing hundreds of bogus applications for people hoping to enter or stay in the United States.
Muhammad Khalil, 63, was convicted Wednesday of conspiring to submit the applications on behalf of aliens under the federal Religious Worker Program and to obtain Social Security cards in false names.
He could face more than five years in prison at his sentencing Jan. 18, prosecutors said Thursday.
In closing arguments, Assistant U.S. Attorney David Burns told a jury that Khalil’s “unbridled greed generated … hundreds of thousands of dollars off the backs of aliens desperate to stay in this country any way they could.”
Prosecutors allege Khalil’s mosque, run out of his variety store’s basement, was actually a roach-infested front that rarely saw worshippers.
Defense lawyer Roger Stavis insisted in his closing that Khalil operated a legitimate mosque and that prosecutors relied on a “rogues gallery of witnesses” to discredit him.
“These people are lying,” he said.
Of course. Do they ever tell the truth?