Former Officers of Care International, Inc. Indicted, Reports U.S. Attorney

May 12, 2005, 01:00 ET from U.S. Attorney

    WORCESTER, Mass., May 12 /PRNewswire/ -- A Libyan national and a Lebanese
 national were arrested today on federal charges arising from their involvement
 with Care International, Inc. ("Care"), a purported charitable organization
 based in Boston.
     United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan; Kenneth W. Kaiser, Special
 Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in New England; Joseph
 A. Galasso, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service,
 Criminal Investigation; and Robin M. Avers, Special Agent in Charge of
 Immigration and Customs Enforcement, announced that a six-count Indictment was
 unsealed today charging EMADEDDIN MUNTASSER, age 40, of Braintree,
 Massachusetts, and MUHAMED MUBAYYID, age 40, of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts,
 each with one count of Engaging in a Scheme to Conceal Material Facts from the
 United States and one count of Conspiring to Defraud the United States.
 MUNTASSER is also charged in one count with Making False Statements; and
 MUBAYYID is charged in three separate counts with Making and Filing False Tax
 Returns.
      "Organizations that conceal their true activities to abuse our tax laws,
 and in this case fund their support of the mujahideen and jihad, will be
 prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," stated U.S. Attorney Sullivan.
 "Making false statements and representations to government officials as is
 alleged in this case will not be tolerated. Our government requires truthful
 and complete information to uphold our nation's laws."
     According to the Indictment, in the 1990's MUNTASSER was involved in
 operating the Boston branch office of the Al-Kifah Refugee Center ("Al-
 Kifah"), a supporter of "mujahideen," or Muslim holy warriors, engaged in
 "jihad," or religiously-based military conflict overseas.  Al-Kifah Boston
 published a pro-jihad newsletter called "Al-Hussam," meaning "The Sword" in
 Arabic.  According to the Indictment, following media reports in 1993 linking
 Al-Kifah to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, MUNTASSER founded
 Massachusetts Care International, Inc. ("Care"), a purported charitable
 organization.  The Indictment alleges despite MUNTASSER's representations on
 Care's Articles of Incorporation that the organization was exclusively
 involved in "charitable, religious, educational, and scientific purposes,"
 Care was in fact engaged in the solicitation and expenditure of funds to
 support the mujahideen and promote jihad, was located at Al-Kifah Boston's
 office and assumed publication of Al-Kiffah's pro-jihad newsletter, Al-Hussam.
     Count One of the Indictment alleges that between April 1993 and April 2003
 MUNTASSER, as Care's president, and MUBAYYID, as Care's Treasurer, engaged in
 a scheme to conceal material facts from the IRS, FBI and the former INS
 related to Care. The Indictment specifically alleges that MUNTASSER and
 MUBAYYID concealed the fact that Care was an outgrowth of, and successor to,
 Al-Kifah Boston and was engaged in non-charitable activities.
     "Those who defraud the Government to obtain tax exempt status for
 charities will be held accountable," stated ICE Special Agent in Charge Avers.
 "Today's arrests are the result of a collaborative law enforcement
 investigation and demonstrate our joint commitment to enforcing these
 violations."
     Count Two of the Indictment alleges that MUNTASSER and MUBAYYID conspired
 together and with others to defraud the United States in connection with
 Care's qualifying with the IRS for tax exempt status. According to the
 Indictment, shortly after Care was incorporated in 1993, MUNTASSER sought, and
 was granted, a tax exempt status for Care from the IRS under Section 501(c)(3)
 on the basis that Care was a charitable organization. An organization granted
 such tax exempt status renders tax deductible any donations the organization
 receives. According to the Indictment, from 1993 to 2003, Care collected
 approximately $1.7 million in tax deductible donations. The Indictment
 specifically alleges that from 1993 to 2003, MUNTASSER and MUBAYYID and others
 conspired to deceive the IRS concerning Care's designation as a Section
 501(c)(3) charitable organization in 1993 and that it should continue to be
 accorded that status thereafter.  According to the Indictment, in addition to
 publishing the pro-jihad newsletter, Al-Hussam, Care published articles about
 military operations and activities of the mujahideen on its website from
 approximately 1998 to 2001, and printed and distributed solicitations for tax
 deductible donations to support the mujahideen from approximately 1994 to
 2001, as well as published and distributed an English translation of "Join the
 Caravan", a pro-jihad book.
     Joseph Galasso, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation in
 Boston stated, "One of the enforcement priorities in the IRS Strategic plan is
 the review of charitable organizations in order to discourage and deter non-
 compliance within tax-exempt and government entities."
     Counts Three, Four and Five of the Indictment allege that MUBAYYID made
 and filed false tax returns for Care for calendar years 1997, 1999, and 2000
 by never revealing to the IRS that Care was engaged in activities involving
 the solicitation and expenditure of funds to support the mujahideen and
 promote jihad.
     The last count of the Indictment alleges that on April 7, 2003, MUNTASSER
 made false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation by stating that
 he had not traveled to Afghanistan in 1994.  It is alleged that in fact,
 MUNTASSER had traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan in 1994 in furtherance of
 Care's activities.
     MUNTASSER and MUBAYYID were arrested this morning on the charges and
 appeared in federal court in Worcester before U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge
 Charles B. Swartwood, III. MUNTASSER was ordered released to home confinement
 with electronic monitoring. MUBAYYID is being detained pending a detention
 hearing scheduled for Monday, May 16, 2005 at 11:00 a.m.  If convicted,
 MUNTASSER and MUBAYYID each face up to 5 years in prison on each of the
 Engaging in a Scheme to Conceal Material Facts from the United States and
 Conspiring to Defraud the United States counts. MUBAYYID also faces up to 3
 years in prison on each of the three False Tax Return counts; and MUNTASSER
 faces up to 5 years in prison on the False Statements count.
     The investigation is continuing.
     The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S.
 Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, and Immigration and Customs
 Enforcement.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael D.
 Ricciuti and B. Stephanie Siegmann in Sullivan's Anti-Terrorism and National
 Security Unit.
     The details contained in the Indictment are allegations. The defendants
 are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable
 doubt in a court of law.
 
 

SOURCE U.S. Attorney
    WORCESTER, Mass., May 12 /PRNewswire/ -- A Libyan national and a Lebanese
 national were arrested today on federal charges arising from their involvement
 with Care International, Inc. ("Care"), a purported charitable organization
 based in Boston.
     United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan; Kenneth W. Kaiser, Special
 Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation in New England; Joseph
 A. Galasso, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service,
 Criminal Investigation; and Robin M. Avers, Special Agent in Charge of
 Immigration and Customs Enforcement, announced that a six-count Indictment was
 unsealed today charging EMADEDDIN MUNTASSER, age 40, of Braintree,
 Massachusetts, and MUHAMED MUBAYYID, age 40, of Shrewsbury, Massachusetts,
 each with one count of Engaging in a Scheme to Conceal Material Facts from the
 United States and one count of Conspiring to Defraud the United States.
 MUNTASSER is also charged in one count with Making False Statements; and
 MUBAYYID is charged in three separate counts with Making and Filing False Tax
 Returns.
      "Organizations that conceal their true activities to abuse our tax laws,
 and in this case fund their support of the mujahideen and jihad, will be
 prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," stated U.S. Attorney Sullivan.
 "Making false statements and representations to government officials as is
 alleged in this case will not be tolerated. Our government requires truthful
 and complete information to uphold our nation's laws."
     According to the Indictment, in the 1990's MUNTASSER was involved in
 operating the Boston branch office of the Al-Kifah Refugee Center ("Al-
 Kifah"), a supporter of "mujahideen," or Muslim holy warriors, engaged in
 "jihad," or religiously-based military conflict overseas.  Al-Kifah Boston
 published a pro-jihad newsletter called "Al-Hussam," meaning "The Sword" in
 Arabic.  According to the Indictment, following media reports in 1993 linking
 Al-Kifah to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, MUNTASSER founded
 Massachusetts Care International, Inc. ("Care"), a purported charitable
 organization.  The Indictment alleges despite MUNTASSER's representations on
 Care's Articles of Incorporation that the organization was exclusively
 involved in "charitable, religious, educational, and scientific purposes,"
 Care was in fact engaged in the solicitation and expenditure of funds to
 support the mujahideen and promote jihad, was located at Al-Kifah Boston's
 office and assumed publication of Al-Kiffah's pro-jihad newsletter, Al-Hussam.
     Count One of the Indictment alleges that between April 1993 and April 2003
 MUNTASSER, as Care's president, and MUBAYYID, as Care's Treasurer, engaged in
 a scheme to conceal material facts from the IRS, FBI and the former INS
 related to Care. The Indictment specifically alleges that MUNTASSER and
 MUBAYYID concealed the fact that Care was an outgrowth of, and successor to,
 Al-Kifah Boston and was engaged in non-charitable activities.
     "Those who defraud the Government to obtain tax exempt status for
 charities will be held accountable," stated ICE Special Agent in Charge Avers.
 "Today's arrests are the result of a collaborative law enforcement
 investigation and demonstrate our joint commitment to enforcing these
 violations."
     Count Two of the Indictment alleges that MUNTASSER and MUBAYYID conspired
 together and with others to defraud the United States in connection with
 Care's qualifying with the IRS for tax exempt status. According to the
 Indictment, shortly after Care was incorporated in 1993, MUNTASSER sought, and
 was granted, a tax exempt status for Care from the IRS under Section 501(c)(3)
 on the basis that Care was a charitable organization. An organization granted
 such tax exempt status renders tax deductible any donations the organization
 receives. According to the Indictment, from 1993 to 2003, Care collected
 approximately $1.7 million in tax deductible donations. The Indictment
 specifically alleges that from 1993 to 2003, MUNTASSER and MUBAYYID and others
 conspired to deceive the IRS concerning Care's designation as a Section
 501(c)(3) charitable organization in 1993 and that it should continue to be
 accorded that status thereafter.  According to the Indictment, in addition to
 publishing the pro-jihad newsletter, Al-Hussam, Care published articles about
 military operations and activities of the mujahideen on its website from
 approximately 1998 to 2001, and printed and distributed solicitations for tax
 deductible donations to support the mujahideen from approximately 1994 to
 2001, as well as published and distributed an English translation of "Join the
 Caravan", a pro-jihad book.
     Joseph Galasso, Special Agent in Charge of IRS Criminal Investigation in
 Boston stated, "One of the enforcement priorities in the IRS Strategic plan is
 the review of charitable organizations in order to discourage and deter non-
 compliance within tax-exempt and government entities."
     Counts Three, Four and Five of the Indictment allege that MUBAYYID made
 and filed false tax returns for Care for calendar years 1997, 1999, and 2000
 by never revealing to the IRS that Care was engaged in activities involving
 the solicitation and expenditure of funds to support the mujahideen and
 promote jihad.
     The last count of the Indictment alleges that on April 7, 2003, MUNTASSER
 made false statements to the Federal Bureau of Investigation by stating that
 he had not traveled to Afghanistan in 1994.  It is alleged that in fact,
 MUNTASSER had traveled to Pakistan and Afghanistan in 1994 in furtherance of
 Care's activities.
     MUNTASSER and MUBAYYID were arrested this morning on the charges and
 appeared in federal court in Worcester before U.S. Chief Magistrate Judge
 Charles B. Swartwood, III. MUNTASSER was ordered released to home confinement
 with electronic monitoring. MUBAYYID is being detained pending a detention
 hearing scheduled for Monday, May 16, 2005 at 11:00 a.m.  If convicted,
 MUNTASSER and MUBAYYID each face up to 5 years in prison on each of the
 Engaging in a Scheme to Conceal Material Facts from the United States and
 Conspiring to Defraud the United States counts. MUBAYYID also faces up to 3
 years in prison on each of the three False Tax Return counts; and MUNTASSER
 faces up to 5 years in prison on the False Statements count.
     The investigation is continuing.
     The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S.
 Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, and Immigration and Customs
 Enforcement.  It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael D.
 Ricciuti and B. Stephanie Siegmann in Sullivan's Anti-Terrorism and National
 Security Unit.
     The details contained in the Indictment are allegations. The defendants
 are presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable
 doubt in a court of law.
 
 SOURCE  U.S. Attorney