20
August , 2017
Sunday

Vice President Joe Biden is seriously considering a run for president in 2016, according to ...
CHICAGO, IL – Illinois State Rep. Ken Dunkin, D-Chicago, issued the following statement today announcing ...
Silk Road Theatre project’s Yellow Face also extends through July 31   Chicago, IL - By popular ...
James Campbell's new book The Color of War is the story of the ...
Honoree presenters Kevin Liles, Raven-Symone, Michael Jai White, Glynn Turman, Salli Richardson, Rochelle Aytes ...
New Initiative Designed to Address Drug Epidemic as a Public Health Issue Cook County State’s ...
In recognition of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez presented awards ...
WASHINGTON, DC – President Barack Obama announced his intent to nominate Beth Cobert as Director ...
A Houston psychiatrist was sentenced today to 144 months in prison for her role in ...
  Organizes students to lobby against interest rate hike  CHICAGO, IL – With interest rates on student ...

Archive for April 10th, 2017

Debt Collector Returns $2.7 Million to Victims

Posted by Admin On April - 10 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Just last week, the FTC mailed checks returning money to more than 5,200 people, thanks to the FTC’s settlement with Rincon Debt Management. People who lost money are getting back the full amount of the fraudulent fees they were charged – an average of $525 – which adds up to more than $2.7 million.

A few years ago, at the FTC’s request, a court shut down the debt collection business, Rincon Management Services LLC, and banned the owners from doing debt collection ever again. The company’s employees had used illegal and abusive practices, threatening people – in both English and Spanish – with arrest and lawsuits if they didn’t pay. They even added fraudulent charges onto people’s debt. This settlement, which required Rincon to repay those fraudulent charges, is part of the FTC’s ongoing enforcement actions to stop abusive and illegal debt collection practices.

If you get a check, you have 60 days to cash it. Questions about this refund? Check with the FTC’s refund administrator, Analytics at (844) 330-6742, or go online.

If you’re ever contacted by a debt collector, know your rights. And if you think a collector has violated those rights, tell the FTC.

NAACP Warns, “We Will Remember” Those Senators Who Bypassed the Normal Confirmation Process to Confirm Judge (Neil) Gorsuch for the U.S. Supreme Court

Posted by Admin On April - 10 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

NAACP statement regarding the Senate’s confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the United States Supreme Court

 

Baltimore—NAACP President and CEO Cornell William Brooks issued the following statement regarding the Senate’s confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the United States Supreme Court.

 

“The recent ill-considered decision by Republican-led and partisan inspired Senators to bypass our normal confirmation process represents an ill-considered moment by the world’s greatest deliberative body.

 

The Supreme Court is a critical nonpartisan instrument of our democratic system designed to check executive and legislative abuses of power, not a partisan extension of the others. In reducing the needed approval for confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to just 51 votes, the Senate has ensured that future candidates, even those of a severely partisan nature, can now be confirmed to our nation’s highest court without a single vote of bipartisan support.

 

This sets a dangerous trend, particularly for those citizens and communities traditionally left outside the halls of power. In turn, it reinforces to those with power and access that their access and influence will only increase.
There are democratic moments when a leader faces a choice between a patriotic excellence and partisan expediency, this day a misguided Senate majority chose the latter.

 

The undemocratic action now creates a situation where all presidential nominees for federal courts and executive branch positions can now be confirmed with a mere 51 votes. This is a major blow to the system of checks and balances within our government. It also means that an administration which lost the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes can now recreate the government in their own partisan image, which leaves the overwhelming majority of us vulnerable.
To those Senators who voted for this option and Judge Gorsuch… “WE WILL REMEMBER.”

 

State Senator Raoul Measure Targeting Repeat Gun Offenders Passes Senate

Posted by Admin On April - 10 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

SPRINGFIELD, IL —  Illinois State Senator Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago 13th) secured passage of legislation aimed at taking a comprehensive approach to criminal justice reform and reducing the unacceptable gun violence in Chicago and across the state.

“The step we took today is a continuation of my record of criminal justice reform efforts focusing on individualized treatment of offenders,” Raoul said. “It is vital that we distinguish between repeat offenders and those who just picked up a gun for the first time.” 

Raoul has also introduced legislation, SB 592, that recognizes the impact of trauma in communities and creates diversion options for first time gun offenders.

The measure that passed the Senate is targeted towards repeat gun offenders, recommending that judges sentence them on the higher end of the existing sentencing range. It does allow judges to deviate from the higher sentencing recommendation if they find circumstances indicate departure is appropriate. 

It also puts in place a series of criminal justice reforms aimed at reducing the prison population and providing low-risk offenders with better access to rehabilitation programming and opportunities after release. These reforms include:

·         Increases access to educational, vocational and re-entry programming for individuals incarcerated for truth-in-sentencing offenses, allowing eligible individuals to reduce their sentence up to 15 percent.

·         Reduces the protected area for drug crimes from 1,000 to 500 feet, removes public housing as a protected area and requires prosecutors to prove a connection between the crime and the protected area before a felony can be enhanced.

·         Expands the eligibility for the Offender Initiative Program, Second Chance Probation and all other drug probation programs.

·         Allows the Prisoner Review Board to terminate a person’s mandatory supervised release after a risk assessment tool determines the person is considered low-risk and need.

SB 1722 passed 35-9-4 in the Senate and is headed to the House for consideration.

Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Criticizes Attorney General for Review of Consent Decrees

Posted by Admin On April - 10 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS
In letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions, CBC states, “As you may recall, we opposed your nomination… It is clear by your recent actions that our opposition was well founded.”

WASHINGTON – The Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), Congressman Cedric Richmond (D-LA-02), sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions criticizing him for his decision to review consent decrees between the Department of Justice and police departments found to have a “pattern and practice” of violating civil rights.

The Chairman also criticized the Attorney General for his decision to waste taxpayer resources on reviewing all DOJ activities and his decision to emphasize data collection on crime and criminals but not on police and community interactions.

The letter is attached. Excerpts from the letter are below.

Consent Decrees/Police Accountability

“While we agree that the vast majority of our nation’s law enforcement officers serve their communities honorably, the ‘misdeeds of individual bad actors’ cannot explain away department-wide practices that discriminate against African Americans, such as trespass arrest forms with ‘black male’ pre-filled, as was the case in the Baltimore Police Department. Despite your incorrect notion that ‘it is not the responsibility of the federal government to manage non-federal law enforcement agencies,’ it is clearly your responsibility to ‘ensure the fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans.’  Consent decrees are a critical tool in the Department’s role of overseeing local and state law enforcement organizations and they must be utilized aggressively to protect the civil rights of all Americans.

“Nonetheless, if you are reviewing all agency activities, we implore you to give all due consideration in review of officer-involved shootings, deaths in custody, and reports of police brutality or excessive force. No American should be afraid to call the police for fear of becoming victimized by the very people sent to protect them. Unfortunately, for far too many African Americans, this is exactly the reality they face.  The relationships between African-American communities and their police departments across the nation have hovered in a state of constant volatility for generations.  These tensions have grown in recent years following the high-profile shootings of unarmed Black men and women at the hands of police, many of which have been recorded for the world to see.  To add insult to an unbearable injury, few officers are held accountable for their actions. To mend the broken bond between police and communities, there must be accountability. That accountability cannot just be local, as you have suggested. Instead, communities need to know they can rely upon the Department of Justice to investigate civil rights violations wherever they may occur, including among the ranks of the men and women in blue.”

Data Collection

“In that vein, the Department of Justice must collect data to shed light on the interactions between police and the communities they serve – from searches and arrests to police shootings and allegations of misconduct. Ironically, you call on the collection and analysis of data around ‘crime and criminals,’ but you make no such request for analysis of the actions of law enforcement.  You may be interested to learn that the CBC recently hosted a forum discussing policing and criminal justice reform. In that discussion, Dr. Phillip Atiba Goff, aptly shared the analogy that if an individual is serious about improving their personal finances, they set a budget. If you are serious, at all, about addressing the racial disparities in policing across this country, you will lead the Department of Justice in collecting and analyzing data to shed light on the state of interactions between police and communities.”

30-Year Record/Russia

“As you may recall, we opposed your nomination to serve as Attorney General because, over more than three decades of public service, you have developed a questionable record on issues of justice, equality, and civil rights. It is clear by your recent actions that our opposition was well founded, as you have demonstrated a complete disregard for your responsibility to protect the rights of all Americans.  It is worth noting that your actions are now clouded by your sworn testimony that you never met with Russian agents, but in fact did meet with Russian agents. Accordingly, we are skeptical of your oath to defend the Constitution from all enemies, foreign and domestic. It is our sincere hope that you reverse course and prove us all wrong.”

Victims of Notorious Frame-Up Cop Face Critical Court Date Today

Posted by Admin On April - 10 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Chicago Detective Reynaldo Guevara Allegedly Caused the Wrongful Convictions of Dozens

States Atty Foxx Refuses to Allow New Trials for Guevara’s Victims

“Innocence Does Matter” Rally & Press Conference Precedes the Court Date

12 Noon, Monday, April 10 in front of Cook County Courthouse,

2650 S. California, Chicago

CHICAGO, IL – Closing arguments in the two-year-long evidentiary hearings of Roberto Almodovar and William Negron, who were allegedly framed by Chicago Police Detective Reynaldo Guevara, will begin at 1:30 PM, Monday, April 10 at the Cook County Courthouse, 2650 S. California Avenue, Courtroom 700.

 

Attorneys for Almodovar and Negron will make their final pleas to the judge, asking that he grant new trials for their clients who they allege were framed in 1994 and wrongfully imprisoned ever since.

 

Supporters of the two men, who were recently featured in a lengthy BuzzFeed article about Guevara’s alleged frame-ups, will rally outside the courthouse beginning at 12 noon on that day.

 

Asserting his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent, Guevara has refused to answer any questions about his investigation in this case and scores of other cases, many of which are currently pending in the circuit court. When asked whether he framed Robert Almodovar and William Negron, Guevara repeatedly invoked his Fifth Amendment privilege on the grounds that his responses might incriminate him.

 

Only five months ago, the Chief Judge of the Criminal Division granted Certificates of Innocence to two of Reynaldo Guevara’s victims, Armando Serrano and Jose Montanez, both of whom served 23 years in prison for crimes they did not commit after being framed by Guevara. Even the City of Chicago, which conducted its own independent investigation, concluded in 2015 that Almodovar is most likely innocent.

 

Notwithstanding overwhelming evidence showing that Almodovar and Negron are innocent, Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx refuses to consent to new trials. Foxx’s position comes as a shock to many since she ran on a reform platform promising reviews of the cases handled by Guevara. To date, her office has not voluntarily released a single man wrongfully convicted by Guevara.

 

“We are beginning to wonder whether innocence matters in this town,” said Almodovar’s attorney, Jennifer Bonjean of the Bonjean Law Group, PLLC, a criminal defense and civil rights litigation firm. “If the Cook County criminal justice system is content with Robert Almodovar and William Negron dying in prison given everything that is known about Reynaldo Guevara, it would seem that innocence simply does not matter.”

 

William Negron is represented by Attorney Russell Ainsworth of The Exoneration Project, a free legal clinic at the University of Chicago dedicated to representing the wrongfully convicted.

 

Rep. Stratton Legislation to Severely Limit Pre-School Expulsions

Posted by Admin On April - 10 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

CHICAGO, IL – Illinois State Rep. Juliana Stratton, D-Chicago, passed legislation through the House to severely limit pre-school expulsions by childcare providers Thursday, pushing to end an extremely harmful practice that disproportionately hurts children of color.

 

“Preschool should be a time when we invest more resources than ever into a child’s growth and development,” Stratton said. “It should not be a time when providers expel young children due to perceived behavioral issues.”

 

Stratton introduced House Bill 2663, which limits early-childhood providers from expelling vulnerable students with perceived behavioral issues. Instead, providers would be encouraged to use community services available to them to work with the children and families to address behavioral issues that students might display. Research shows that Illinois preschoolers are expelled at a rate three times higher than their peers in elementary school and high school, with young boys of color having the highest rates of suspensions and expulsions. Moreover, an expulsion in the earliest years leads to higher expulsion and suspension rates in later grades.

 

“Our children have so much talent, but the preschool-to-prison pipeline makes it harder for our children to realize all of that talent,” Stratton continued. “Ending the practice of expelling preschoolers when other interventions are more appropriate will ensure all Illinois children have equal access to a quality childhood education.”

 

House Bill 2663 passed the House and currently awaits action in the Senate.

 

Former District Attorney Walter P. Reed and his Son, Steven P. Reed, Sentenced

Posted by Admin On April - 10 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Acting U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans announced that former St. Tammany Parish District Attorney Walter P. Reed, age 70, and his son Steven P. Reed, age 45, both of Covington, were sentenced after being convicted by a federal jury in May of 2016.

U.S. District Judge Eldon E. Fallon sentenced Walter P. Reed to 48 months incarceration to be followed by 2 years of supervised release. Walter P. Reed was also ordered to pay $572,000 in restitution, $40,000 to the Internal Revenue Service, and a $15,000 fine. Additionally, per a prior ruling, Walter P. Reed was ordered to pay $609,217.08 in forfeiture. Furthermore, Judge Fallon ordered Walter P. Reed and Steven P. Reed jointly and severally responsible for $46,200 in forfeiture.

Steven P. Reedwas sentenced by U.S Judge Fallon to 5 years probation and ordered to perform 50 hours of community service.

Walter P. Reed was convicted of one count conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering; seven counts of wire fraud; one count of money laundering; four counts of false statement on income tax return; and, five counts of mail fraud.

Steven P. Reed was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and money laundering; one count of wire fraud; and, one count of money laundering,

“Walter and Steven Reed broke the law and have now been punished for their crimes,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Duane A. Evans. “We want to assure the public that with the continued assistance from our federal, state, and local law enforcement partners, this Office will identify and prosecute any individual who commits an act of public corruption.”

“I would like to thank the men and women of the FBI, the IRS, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for their hard work on this very important matter,” stated FBI New Orleans Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey Sallet.

“Today, Walter and Stephen Reed were held accountable for their actions. It is a severe abuse of the public trust when elected officials misuse campaign funds for personal purposes, and abuse their positions for personal gain. IRS – Criminal Investigation is extremely proud of the work we do in cases such as these, and we stand ready to pursue further investigation and criminal actions against individuals engaged in all forms of public corruption,” stated Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge Jerome R. McDuffie.

Acting U.S. Attorney Evans praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation for investigating this matter and thanked the Metropolitan Crime Commission for its assistance. The prosecution of this case was handled by Assistant United States Attorneys Jordan Ginsberg, Brian M. Klebba, Maria Carboni, and Jeff Sandman.

Source: FBI

Mathew Knowles Denies Selling Beyonce Memorabilia to Pay Debt

Posted by Admin On April - 10 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

Knowles, father of Beyonce and Solange, says, “Lies are circulating”

Houston, TX (BlackNews.com) – Mathew Knowles, the father of Beyonce and Solange, says that a bold lie is circulating that he held a silent auction to sell his daughter’s memorabilia to pay off debts.An official statement to the press reads:This is a lie without any foundation in fact. No such auction occurred nor was ever planned or scheduled. Indeed, Mr. Knowles never participated in nor engaged anyone to hold any type of auction to sell or auction off such items. Whoever is spreading or worse re-publishing this lie will be required to answer in damages for the harm they are intending to cause Mr. Knowles.

To date, Mr. Knowles has attempted to remain quiet when faced with such ridiculous and false accusations. He says, “No More! Tabloids and magazines have to be made accountable for their false publications.”

He insists that anyone who has published this lie must immediately retract it, and cease circulation of this harmful untruth.

Knowles has retained a lawyer to go after publications that are circulating the lie.

 

 

Don’t Let Utility Scams Overpower You

Posted by Admin On April - 10 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS

When your electricity goes out, you lose power in more ways than one. Daily necessities are out of reach without lights, warm water, and heat or air conditioning.

So if you get a call from someone threatening to shut off your utilities because they say you owe money, you’re going pay attention – and you may even pay up. But not so fast. The caller might be an imposter running a utility scam.

How can you tell? The caller wants you to send money – quickly, and in a very specific way. He may say the only way to make the “payment” is by wiring the money or using a prepaid card. That’s because scammers want your money quick, and they want to stay hidden. But once you wire money or use a prepaid card, your money is gone for good.

Here are a few ways to protect yourself and your community:

  • Make sure you’re really dealing with your utility company. Call the company using the number on your bill. You can also check your bill to confirm what you owe.
  • Never wire money or send the number from a prepaid card to someone you don’t know — regardless of the situation. Once you do, you cannot get your money back.
  • Contact the company if you are falling behind on your utility bill. See if you can work out a payment plan to catch up and keep your service on.
  • Pass on information about imposter scams to people you know – and keep in touch with the latest scams by signing up for the FTC’s scam alerts.
  • Report it to the FTC if you think a scammer has contacted you.

Islamic American Relief Agency Sentenced for Transferring Nearly $1.4 Million to Iraq in Violation of Sanctions

Posted by Admin On April - 10 - 2017 ADD COMMENTS
 IARA employee provided satellite phone used in 1998 terrorist bombings of U.S. Embassies; $818,000 in assets transferred to Heifer International

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Tom Larson, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that the Islamic American Relief Agency (IARA), formerly headquartered in Columbia, Mo., was sentenced in federal court today for transferring nearly $1.4 million to Iraq in violation of federal sanctions.

IARA has been dissolved, and has divested itself of all its funds and property. IARA’s assets, which consisted of 14 bank accounts and an interest in a piece of real estate in Boone County, Mo., were transferred to Heifer International, Inc., an unrelated charity. A total of $818,894 was given to Heifer International to further the goal of providing relief to farmers and drought victims in east Africa. The real estate has not yet been sold. Articles of Dissolution were filed with the Missouri Secretary of State on April 5, 2017, terminating IARA as a registered corporation with the state of Missouri.

At today’s sentencing hearing, Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven Mohlhenrich summarized the organization’s conduct for the court, stating that IARA willfully violated U.S. economic sanctions on Iraq, a very important national security matter, and further misused its status as a charity to solicit donations that donors thought were going toward lawful charitable projects, but were not. Further, IARA knowingly engaged in prohibited transactions with a deputy to specially designated global terrorist Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, in Pakistan. Then, when Congress placed IARA on a list of organizations that supported terrorism, the organization hired a former member of Congress, co-defendant Mark Siljander, to act as an unregistered agent for a foreign entity, and at Siljander’s direction concealed the payments to him by routing them through non-profit entities.

However, Mohlhenrich emphasized, the reason the case was important, and the reason IARA was ultimately designated by the Office of Foreign Assets Control as a specially designated global terrorist, should not be forgotten. IARA was a member of a larger organization headquartered in Sudan that was itself an al-Qaeda supporter. The IARA connection to al-Qaeda dated back to well before Sept. 11, 2001; it arose while Osama Bin Laden was a guest of the government of Sudan. During that same period, Ziyad Khaleel, who lived in Columbia and was a fundraiser for IARA, purchased a satellite telephone and deliver it to al-Qaeda operatives while he was on travel paid for by IARA in February 1997. That satellite phone was used by al-Qaeda to direct operations and to orchestrate the Aug. 7, 1998, simultaneous bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which killed more than 200 people.

On July 20, 2016, IARA (through a representative of the board of directors) pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to violate the International Emergency Economic Powers Act, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and one count of obstructing the administration of internal revenue laws, which were contained in an Oct. 21, 2008, federal indictment.

IARA served as the U.S. office of the Islamic Relief Agency (ISRA), an international organization headquartered in Khartoum, Sudan. IARA took in between $1 million and $3 million in contributions annually from 1991 to 2003. It also received funds from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). IARA employed approximately six full-time employees and 10-12 part-time employees.

IARA was closed in October 2004 after being identified by the U.S. Treasury Department as a specially designated global terrorist organization. IARA was reconstituted in order to resolve this criminal matter. Now that this case is resolved, IARA has dissolved itself as a corporation for all time. Under the terms of the plea agreement, IARA and its board of directors agreed they will not form a new corporation to conduct the activities that IARA formerly conducted.

IARA secretly funneled $1,375,000 to Iraq in violation of United States economic sanctions. President George H.W. Bush declared a national emergency with respect to Iraq in August 1990, which resulted in sanctions against sending or transferring money, funds or goods directly or indirectly to any person in Iraq or to the government of Iraq. In violation of the Iraqi sanctions, IARA collected funds that were illegally transferred to Iraq with the assistance of a Jordanian national. According to today’s plea agreement, this individual either took the cash into Iraq or purchased items in Jordan and transported them into Iraq.

IARA corruptly endeavored to impair and impede the due administration of the Internal Revenue laws by using its tax-exempt status to solicit funds, representing that they were legitimate charitable contributions, and to misuse part of those funds by transferring those funds to Iraq, a purpose prohibited by law. During the entire period in which the Iraq sanctions were in effect, IARA solicited donations through various means, including pamphlets, flyers, newsletters and personal correspondence, requesting contributions to pay for projects in Iraq. IARA did not disclose the fact that the organization had provided funds for projects and persons in Iraq in its annual filings with the Internal Revenue Service.

Several officials and employees of IARA have previously pleaded guilty and been sentenced.

IARA Executive Director Mubarak Hamed, a naturalized U.S. citizen originally from Sudan, was sentenced to four years and 10 months in federal prison without parole. Hamed pleaded guilty to conspiring to illegally transfer more than $1 million to Iraq in violation of federal sanctions. Hamed also pleaded guilty to obstructing the administration of the laws governing tax‑exempt charities by misusing IARA=s tax‑exempt status, providing false information to the IRS, and lying to federal agents.

IARA fundraiser Abdel Azim El-Siddig was sentenced to two years of probation. El-Siddig pleaded guilty to conspiring to lobby for IARA=s removal from a Senate Finance Committee list of charities suspected of having terrorist ties, while concealing this advocacy and not registering with the proper authorities.

IARA board member Ali Mohamed Bagegni, a native of Libya who is a naturalized U.S. citizen, and IARA fundraiser Ahmad Mustafa, a citizen of Iraq and a lawful permanent resident alien, were each sentenced to six months of probation. Federal prosecutors asked the court to give Bagegni and Mustafa credit for their substantial assistance to the government in the investigation and prosecution of the case. Bagegni pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy to illegally transfer funds to Iraq in violation of federal sanctions. Mustafa was a fundraiser for IARA from 1996 until it was closed in 2004, but at the time he worked for the organization he was unaware it had no permission to send funds to Iraq. Mustafa pleaded guilty to illegally transferring funds to a family member in Iraq in violation of federal sanctions.

Hamed and El‑Siddig hired Mark Deli Siljander in 2004 to lobby for IARA=s removal from a U.S. Senate Finance Committee list of charities suspected of funding international terrorism, and its reinstatement as an approved government contractor. IARA lost its status as an approved government contractor in 1999, when the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) terminated grants for two relief projects in Mali, Africa.

Siljander, who operated a Washington, D.C. consulting business called Global Strategies, Inc., had been a member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Michigan and was a U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations General Assembly. Earlier in 2004, Siljander had assisted IARA in hiring another former congressman and lobbyist (identified as “R.P.H.”), who was paid $15,000 to advocate for IARA’s removal from the list and reinstatement as an approved government contractor.

Siljander, Hamed and El‑Siddig agreed with each other to conceal Siljander=s efforts on IARA=s behalf. In order to do so, Siljander instructed Hamed and El‑Siddig to transfer $75,000 of IARA=s funds to him by funneling them through nonprofit entities. El-Siddig carried at least three checks issued to Siljander=s charities from Chicago to Washington, D.C., and gave them to Siljander.

In exchange for the payments, during the summer of 2004, Siljander acted as an agent for IARA by contacting persons at the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, USAID, the Department of Justice, and the Department of the Army, in an effort to have IARA removed from the USAID list of debarred entities, and to remove IARA from the Senate Finance Committee=s list of charities suspected of funding terrorism. Federal law requires anyone who serves as an agent of a foreign entity, including an organization, to register with the U.S. Attorney General.

Siljander admitted that in two separate interviews he repeatedly lied to FBI agents and prosecutors acting on behalf of a federal grand jury. Siljander obstructed justice by falsely denying that he was hired to advocate for IARA, and by falsely claiming that the payments from IARA were charitable donations intended to assist him in writing a book about bridging the gap between Islam and Christianity.

Siljander was sentenced to one year and one day in federal prison without parole after pleading guilty to obstruction of justice and acting as an unregistered foreign agent.

This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Steven M. Mohlhenrich and Brian Casey from the U.S. Attorney=s Office for the Western District of Missouri, and Trial Attorney Paul G. Casey from the National Security Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. The case was investigated by the FBI, IRS-Criminal Investigation and U.S. Agency for International Development, Office of the Inspector General.

Source: FBI

Recent Comments

Welcome to CopyLine Magazine! The first issue of CopyLine Magazine was published in November, 1990, by Editor & Publisher Juanita Bratcher. CopyLine’s main focus is on the political arena – to inform our readers and analyze many of the pressing issues of the day - controversial or otherwise. Our objectives are clear – to keep you abreast of political happenings and maneuvering in the political arena, by reporting and providing provocative commentaries on various issues. For more about CopyLine Magazine, CopyLine Blog, and CopyLine Television/Video, please visit juanitabratcher.com, copylinemagazine.com, and oneononetelevision.com. Bratcher has been a News/Reporter, Author, Publisher, and Journalist for 33 years. She is the author of six books, including “Harold: The Making of a Big City Mayor” (Harold Washington), Chicago’s first African-American mayor; and “Beyond the Boardroom: Empowering a New Generation of Leaders,” about John Herman Stroger, Jr., the first African-American elected President of the Cook County Board. Bratcher is also a Poet/Songwriter, with 17 records – produced by HillTop Records of Hollywood, California. Juanita Bratcher Publisher

Recent Posts