Albany mosque leaders sentenced to 15 years for money laundering in FBI terror sting

[JURIST] Two Albany, New York men convicted in a money laundering scheme set up as an FBI sting [JURIST report] were each sentenced Thursday to 15 years in prison. Former imam at Masjid as-Salam mosque Yassin Aref and mosque co-founder and pizzeria owner Mohammed Hossain were convicted [AP report] in October for their roles in a money laundering scheme involving an FBI informant who pretended to be an illegal arms dealer. According to a USAO press release [text], the two agreed to launder money which they believed came from the sale of a shoulder-fired missile to a terrorist group to be used to assassinate a Pakistani diplomat. Aref and Hossain were also ordered to forfeit $40,000, and pay special fines of $1,000 and $4,000 respectively

An initial terrorism charge against Aref and Hossain was later dropped when it was found to be based on a Defense Department mistranslation of evidence [NYT report]. The men's defense had filed a motion to dismiss the case alleging that evidence in the case may have been illegally obtained through National Security Agency (NSA) wiretaps under the controversial domestic surveillance program [JURIST news archive]. In a highly unusual move, the judge refused the motion in a secret ruling [JURIST report]. AP has more.

 

About Paper Chase

Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

© Copyright JURIST Legal News and Research Services, Inc., 2013.