For mishandling nearly two million dollars worth of charitable donations. Of course, it’s because the authorities “hated” his beard. “Dhafir gets 22 years in prison,” from the Post Standard, with thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist:
Dr. Rafil Dhafir will spend the next 22 years in federal prison….
Dhafir, 58, was convicted in February of 59 felonies, which included mail and wire fraud, conspiracy, tax evasion and money laundering. A jury decided Dhafir had mishandled nearly $2 million from his charity, Help the Needy….
Assistant prosecutor Michael Olmsted said he knew many supporters perceived Dhafir’s “adamance as religious conviction. We see it as simple arrogance.”…
Investigators and prosecutors, he said, “became obsessed with Dhafir; it became purely personal,” Dhafir said in his statement.
“They didn’t like the way I look, the way I dress. Oh, they hated my beard,” he said. “They didn’t like the way I drive or even how I park my car. I could not take a single breath without them interpreting it as a coded message with a nefarious intent.”…
After the 17-week trial, a jury determined that Dhafir had laundered $2 million in donations collected through Help the Needy, Dhafir’s charity founded to feed and clothe Iraqi children. Instead, he used that money as his personal slush fund for more than eight years.
He also was convicted of violating U.S. sanctions by sending aid to Iraq without a license, overbilling Medicare by $316,000 in his medical practice, claiming he was in the office during treatments when he was, in fact, out of the state and sometimes even overseas.
By fraudulently deducting his own donations to the charity, Dhafir underpaid his federal income taxes by $400,000, the jury concluded.
Mordue said he doesn’t dispute that Dhafir did many good things in his life, but “he has been convicted. I heard the proof and I heard the jury.”
Defense lawyer Devereaux Cannick said both the verdict and the sentence reflect an anti-Muslim sentiment pervasive in the United States since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
Vowing he will appeal the sentence, Cannick said it proved it is “not a good time to be a Muslim in this country, especially with regard to the judicial system.”
Prosecutors, however, disputed the characterization.
“I don’t care what race, what religion or who you are in this country,” Suddaby said. “If you commit these kinds of crimes, you’re going to be prosecuted.”…
[Dhafir] also objected to the conditions at Jamesville Penitentiary, where he said he was treated with disrespect, forced to be around others with “hygiene issues” and TV fare included the likes of Jerry Springer and “The Simpsons.”
“I endured this travesty,” his statement said, referencing the trial and incarceration. “The question is will my accusers be able to endure their punishment in the Hereafter? We shall see who will be laughing at whom.”
Yes, we will.