Federal Indictments Made in IARA Case

1 decade 7 months 1 week ago Thursday, March 15 2007 Mar 15, 2007 Thursday, March 15, 2007 4:27:31 PM CDT March 15, 2007 in News
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She thought they were doing legitimate work by sending food, medicine, and clothes to Iraq. The U.S. Attorney said that's not the case.

On Wednesday, a grand jury indicted five members of the Islamic American Relief Agency, or IARA.

They are charged with theft of public money, money laundering, and violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

The charges are a result of an investigation that started with the raid two and a half years ago.

President Bush issued an executive order following the first Gulf War making it illegal to send any money to Iraq without a license.

There is nothing in the indictment that says how the money was spent, but authorities said IARA's actions were still illegal.

"By circumventing the legitimate use of a tax-exempt organization, IARA used monies thought to be donated for humanitarian relief for illegal activities," FBI agent Monte Strait said.

Two of the five men indicted still live in Columbia.

Mubarak Hamed was the agency's executive director from 1992 until the group was shut down in 2004.

Ahmad Mustafa raised money for IARA starting in 1996.

Hamed and Mustafa made initial court appearances in Jefferson City on Wednesday.

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