Multi-million dollar counterfeit scam linked to jihadist terrorism nets 57 months in prison for ringleader
(Christian Action Network) U.S. Justice Department announced recently a 57-month sentence in Richmond Federal Court for one of seven co-defendants in a $7 million counterfeit clothing ring.
Christian Action Network President Martin Mawyer noted at least three of the ring members are linked to Muslims of America, a front organization for Jamaat ul-Fuqra terrorism, according to Homeland Security Department investigative reports.
Abbas Chouman, 43, of Astoria, N.Y., was the fifth to receive sentencing as of Friday, Oct. 12, for conspiracy in a criminal copyright infringement scam run out of his clothing business in New York City.
In September, Virginians Ismail Haqq, 33, of Meherrin, Cherubin Pierre, 32, of Highland Springs, and Eric Harmon, 40, of Richmond, received eight- 24- and 27-month prison terms respectively for their roles in the scam.
Haqq and Cherubin are noted in prior CAN reports of activity and personal, family ties linked to the Muslims of America camp in Red House, Charlotte County, and a California compound closed by authorities a number of years ago.
The Virginia case arose out of Harmon’s ownership and operation of a retail store in Richmond where he and others illegally reproduced and sold thousands of bogus-label CDs and DVDs.
On Aug. 2, Ishoc Uthman Ibn-Abdus Salaam, 26, of Pamplin, netted 18 months in prison after a federal jury in Richmond found him guilty of attempted conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods.
On August 16, Ronald Roundtree, 51, of Lynchburg, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to traffic in up to $120,000 worth of counterfeit trademarked clothing and shoes. Roundtree is scheduled to be sentenced in Richmond on Wednesday, Nov. 14.
On July 5, Terri Singleton, 34, of Beckley, W.V., pleaded guilty to conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods with Roundtree. Singleton received two years probation in a separate federal court penalty hearing earlier this month.
A forfeiture indictment received a $7 million ruling against Chouman by Federal Eastern District of Virginia Judge Henry E. Hudson.
Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg of the Eastern District of Virginia, and Special Agent in Charge Charles Cunningham of the FBI’s Richmond Division, led the prosecutions against the seven.
Chouman’s wholesale clothing business in New York City had been known by various names such as: Gizmo Wear Inc., Tea Shirt Inc., T Shirt International Inc., and Jump Wear.
He offered clothing at deep discounts bearing counterfeit labels and logos passing for expensive brands. The transactions included purchases using UPS shipments and money orders remitted across state lines.
“Between December 1, 2004, and September 1, 2006, UPS deposited nearly $19 million in COD payments in the Gizmo Wear Inc. account,” U.S. Justice Department spokesman said.
“The initial phase of the operation culminated in March when federal and state agents executed search warrants and made arrests in four states.”
FBI, Virginia State Police, IRS, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Marshals Service, Henrico and Chesterfield county, and Richmond City investigators participated in the task force probe.
Prosecutors in the case include Assistant U.S. Attorney John S. Davis, Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew C. Ackley and Senior Counsel Scott L. Garland of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section.
Christian Action Network seeks to expose Sheikh Mubarak Gilani’s Jamaat al-Fuqra, and Muslims of the Americas, as a decades-old movement dedicated to jihadist ideology operating about 40 camps or communes in the United States and Canada.
U.S Justice Department reports allege a laundering process of funds through a security company back to Gilani, allegedly to fund his chosen terrorist causes around the world.
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