Columbia man admits to illegally transferring money to Iraq

Wednesday, December 16, 2009 | 5:53 p.m. CST; updated 6:19 p.m. CST, Wednesday, December 16, 2009

JEFFERSON CITY — A former fundraiser for a Missouri-based Islamic charity has pleaded guilty to illegally transferring money to his family in Iraq.

Officials say 55-year-old Ahmad Mustafa of Columbia entered the plea Wednesday in  federal court in Jefferson City.

He is one of four men associated with the Columbia-based Islamic American Relief Agency-USA who are charged in the case. A fifth man from the Middle East also was charged.

Prosecutors said the men illegally transferred $1.4 million to Iraq from March 1991 to May 2003 — when Iraq was under various U.S. and U.N. sanctions.

Mustafa said through his plea that he didn't know the organization lacked permission to do business in Iraq. The U.S. agreed that his criminal offense is limited to the money delivered to his family.

No sentencing date has been set.


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