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Legislative aide served in CAIR lawsuit
Muslim-rights group charged with ‘massive fraud’ against Muslims
Posted: June 16, 2009
© 2009 WorldNetDaily
A top state legislative aide who formerly worked as national director for the Council on American-Islamic Relations has been served in a federal fraud and racketeering lawsuit against the Washington-based Muslim-rights group.
Tahra Goraya, the district director for California State Sen. Carol Liu, D-La Canada, was served with a summons and complaint on June 10 while working at the state senator’s Glendale office .
Goraya served as CAIR’s national director at the time the alleged fraud scheme was carried out by CAIR and its national leadership in Washington.
According to the complaint, filed in November by former CAIR clients, Goraya was directly involved in the fraud and cover-up. Goraya apparently resigned from CAIR sometime after the alleged scheme was fully underway, and moved back to her home state of California, taking a position with Liu.
Goraya has until June 30th to file her response with the court.
CAIR, which claims to represent the interests of American Muslims, allegedly defrauded a number of Muslims recently seeking help with citizenship delays, and then threatened to sue them if they complained to the media, according to the complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
The class-action lawsuit charges that the former legal director of CAIR’s Maryland/Virginia chapter shook down Muslim hardship cases for thousands of dollars without providing promised services.
CAIR’s board allegedly covered up the scandal by paying defrauded Muslim families partial restitution payments while insisting they sign agreements releasing CAIR from legal liability, the suit alleges, citing a copy of the release and other internal CAIR documents submitted in court filings.
The release threatened to sue the victims for “damages in the amount of $25,000 for the purpose of conducting meetings, workshops, press releases, flyers and the like to reverse … the damage to CAIR’s reputation caused by the recipient’s breach” of the agreement to remain silent about the “incident.”
Earlier this year, the board also fired Days and closed the chapter’s offices in Herndon, Va. The chapter director, Khalid Iqbal, is no longer with CAIR.
CAIR, which has filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, recently launched a $250,000 fundraising campaign that included a promotional ad on its website touting its mission to help Muslims – particularly those confronting citizenship problems.
“Everyday,” the ad said, “CAIR works hard to defend the rights of American Muslims who encounter a delay in gaining citizenship.”
In fact, CAIR has “victimized” poor Muslim immigrants, the complaint asserts. It maintains that CAIR failed to conduct a background check on Days prior to hiring him, and when it did discover his “massive fraud,” rather than inform their clients and authorities, it immediately conspired with Days to continue the fraud and cover it up.
Also according to the complaint, CAIR officials deliberately concealed the truth about Days from their clients, law enforcement, the Virginia and D.C. state bar associations, and the media. When CAIR began fielding calls from irate clients about Days’ failure to provide competent legal services, CAIR fraudulently deceived their clients about Days’ relationship to CAIR, suggesting he was never actually employed by CAIR, and even concealed the fact that CAIR finally fired him for criminal fraud, the complaint adds.
In a separate criminal case, federal prosecutors recently named CAIR an unindicted co-conspirator in a scheme to funnel millions of dollars to Hamas terrorists.
“The evidence has long suggested that CAIR is a criminal organization set up by the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas to further its aims of stealth jihad in the U.S.,” plaintiffs attorney David Yerushalmi said. “But our investigation and this complaint make clear that CAIR’s criminal activities know no bounds.”
After serving all of the defendants except Days and Goraya, the plaintiffs learned that Days had died of an illness and Goraya had left for California. Because the 120-day time limit to serve the summons and complaint was nearing, the court granted the plaintiffs more time to serve Goraya.
The CAIR defendants have filed a perfunctory motion to dismiss, which the parties fully briefed and submitted to the court in March. A court ruling is expected soon.
“We are fully confident the court will deny the CAIR defendants’ motion and allow discovery to proceed,” Yerushalmi said. “We are eager to begin examining CAIR’s internal documents and taking testimony.”
“In the meantime,” he added, “we have heard from additional former CAIR clients and victims, and expect to either call them as witnesses or include them as additional plaintiffs.”
The complaint identifies CAIR as a racketeering enterprise under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, which is a criminal racketeering statute that allows victims to sue the defendants in civil court.
In addition to damages, the plaintiffs are seeking injunctive relief under RICO and other statutes to shut down CAIR and prevent the individual defendants from engaging in public-interest legal work in the future.
CAIR controls some $7 million in real estate assets in Washington through a limited-liability holding company that includes silent Middle-Eastern investors.
CAIR’s attorneys call the RICO claim “frivolous.”
“Plaintiffs’ RICO claim should be rejected as being nothing more than a blatant and frivolous attempt to turn a fraud and conversion claim against Days into a full frontal attack against the very existence of CAIR and a personal attack on its employees and officers,” they argued in CAIR’s motion to dismiss the complaint.
In addition to CAIR and Goraya, the other named defendants are: CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad, aka Nihad Hammad; Parvez Ahmed, who was CAIR’s chairman at the time of the alleged fraud; CAIR Civil Rights Manager Khadijah Athman; and Nadhira al-Khalili, who is CAIR’s in-house legal counsel.
According to the complaint, al-Khalili was directly involved in taking the legal files out of the CAIR Virginia office and concealing them in the D.C. office.
Also named as defendants are CAIR Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper and CAIR Communictions Coordinator Amina Rubin. According to the complaint, the two were directly responsible for issuing misleading press releases regarding the Days fraud scheme, thereby conspiring in the cover-up.