14 Indicted for allegedly trying to send money to Palestinian territories

Wednesday, October 15, 2008 | 5:27 p.m. CDT

ST. LOUIS — Fourteen people in the St. Louis area were indicted on federal racketeering charges for allegedly conspiring to illegally transfer cash and checks to the Palestinian territories.

The indictment, announced Tuesday by U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway, said that since 2000, the organization has profited from bank and wire fraud, the receipt of stolen property, and the purchasing and selling of contraband cigarettes.

Hanaway said an organization, led by 33-year-old Bassam Hisham Hamed of Florissant, owned and operated convenience stores that were used to receive and sell stolen goods.

The enterprise allegedly bought stolen property at rates significantly below fair market retail value and sold them through the convenience stores at a large profit.



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