|U.S. Attorney's Office|
Northern District of New York
FEBRUARY 10, 2005
Glenn T. Suddaby, United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York, announced today that, after six days of deliberations, a jury in Syracuse has found Rafil Dhafir, age 57, of 5408 Springview Drive, Fayetteville, guilty of the following offenses:
|Count||Offense||Maximum Sentence & Fine|
|1||Participating in a conspiracy to unlawfully send money into Iraq in violation of the U.S. Sanctions||5 years - $250,000|
|2||Participating in a money laundering conspiracy by agreeing to transmit funds from the United States to Amman, Jordan with the intent to violate the Iraqi sanctions||20 years - $500,000|
|4 - 14||Money laundering||20 years - $500,000 on each Count|
|15||Participating in a conspiracy to defraud the United States by obstructing the Internal Revenue Service in computing and collecting income taxes from donors who improperly deducted contributions to Help The Needy (which had not been recognized by the I.R.S. as a tax-exempt organization)||5 years - $250,000|
|16||Aiding in the preparation and presentation of a false application for tax exempt status||3 years - $250,000|
|17 - 22||Causing the preparation of a false income tax return by illegally deducting
charitable contributions and charitable travel on behalf of Help The Needy
(Total tax evaded - $400,171)
|5 years - $250,000 on each Count|
|23||Causing a false VISA application to be submitted on behalf of Ayman Jarwan||5 years - $250,000|
|24-49||Executing a scheme to defraud Medicare
(Total amount - $316,262.61)
|10 years - $250,000 on each Count|
|50||Making a false statement to a Benefit Integrity Specialist for the Medicare carrier||5 years - $250,000 on each Count|
|51-57||Using the United States mails during the execution of a scheme to defraud Help The Needy donors||5 years - $250,000 on each Count|
|58-60||Executing the same scheme to defraud Help The Needy donors through the use of interstate and foreign wire communications||5 years - $250,000 on each Count|
The jury of four women and eight men had been deliberating since Wednesday, February 2, 2005 when they announced their verdict at 12:00 p.m. today. The verdict reflects the jury's careful review of thousands of documents and testimony they had heard since October 21, 2004. Rafil Dhafir will remain in custody, and he will be sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge, Norman A. Mordue, at 10:00 a.m. on June 20, 2005.
Several of Dhafir's confederates and co-conspirators were also convicted of criminal offenses in related prosecutions. These cases, all resulting in guilty pleas, included Ayman Jarwan, age 35, 111 Lafayette Road, Syracuse, New York, (conspiracy to violate the Iraqi sanctions and defraud the United States), Osameh Al Wahaidy, age 44, 603 Warren Street, Fayetteville, New York, (conspiracy to violate the Iraqi sanctions), G. William Hatfield, age 57, 410 Main Street, Oneida, New York, (aiding and abetting Rafil Dhafir's filing of a false IRS 1023 application), Ahmed Ali, age 46, 74 Eagle Street, Troy, New York (subscribing a false tax return), and Priscilla Dhafir, age 55, 5408 Springview Drive, Fayetteville, New York (making a false statement to a Federal agency). Each of them will also be sentenced by Judge Mordue in the coming months.
The prosecution of these cases resulted from a five year investigation undertaken by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Internal Revenue Service; the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General; the Defense Criminal Investigative Service; the New York State Police; the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency; the United States Postal Inspection Service; and the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General.
U.S. Attorney Suddaby expressed high praise for the collaborative efforts of those agencies that participated in this case. Various law enforcement agencies working together in a coordinated and cooperative fashion was essential for the effective investigation of sophisticated and complex criminal activities like this. Mr. Suddaby noted that this investigation began in 1999, based upon Dhafir's suspicious financial transactions. The jury's thorough review of the evidence and conscientious application of the law was reflected throughout the seventeen week trial and six days of deliberations. Now that the jury has reached a well considered verdict and the trial is over, U.S. Attorney Suddaby said he hopes the community will see that the Dhafir investigation was based upon evidence of the defendant's criminal conduct, not his religion or his ethnic background.
The prosecution was handled in the United States Attorney's Office by Assistant
United States Attorneys Michael C. Olmsted, Stephen C. Green, and Greg West.
Further inquiries can be directed to U.S. Attorney Suddaby at 315-448-0672.