November 24, 2008 – Washington, DC: Four clients of the Council on Islamic-American Relations (CAIR) have filed a federal civil complaint alleging criminal fraud and racketeering against CAIR, a self-described public interest civil rights law firm. The lawsuit also names CAIR’s national leadership as individual defendants.
The defendants were served with the complaint and summons to appear while attending the CAIR 14th Annual Dinner Sunday night in Arlington, Virginia. Congressman Ellison (D-Minn) was a guest speaker at this affair.
The lawsuit, filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, alleges that Morris Days, the “Resident Attorney” and “Manager for Civil Rights” at the now defunct CAIR MD/VA chapter in Herndon, Virginia, was in fact not an attorney and that he failed to provide legal services for clients who came to CAIR for assistance and who had paid for CAIR legal services.
While attorney David Yerushalmi represents the four plaintiffs in this particular lawsuit, two of whom are African American Muslims, the complaint alleges that according to CAIR internal documents, there were hundreds of victims of the CAIR-Days fraud scheme.
According to the complaint, CAIR failed to conduct a background check on Days prior to hiring him and when they did discover his massive fraud, they immediately set about to cover it up. CAIR officials purposefully concealed the truth about Days from their clients, law enforcement, the Virginia and D.C. state bar associations, and the media. When CAIR did get irate calls from clients about Days’ failure to provide competent legal services, CAIR fraudulently deceived their clients about Days’ relationship to CAIR, suggesting he was never actually employed by CAIR, and even concealed the fact that CAIR had fired him for criminal fraud.
“The evidence has long suggested that CAIR is a criminal organization set up by the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas to further its aims of stealth Jihad in the U.S.,” Mr. Yerushalmi said referring to the fact that CAIR has been named by the federal government as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Holy Land Foundation terror financing trial.
“But our investigation and this complaint makes clear that CAIR’s criminal activities know no bounds,” Yerushalmi continued.
“According to the facts as carefully laid out in this complaint,” Yerushalmi explained, “CAIR has engaged in a massive cover-up of a criminal fraud in which literally hundreds of CAIR clients have been victimized and because of the CAIR cover-up they still don’t realize it. The fact that CAIR has victimized Muslims and non-Muslims alike demonstrates that CAIR is only looking out for CAIR and its ongoing effort to bilk donors out of millions of dollars of charitable donations thinking they are supporting a legitimate organization.”
The complaint also alleges that in addition to covering up the Days fraud scheme, CAIR officials in D.C. forced angry clients who were demanding a return of their legal fees to sign a release that bought the client-victims’ silence by prohibiting them from informing law enforcement or the media about the CAIR-Days fraud. According to the agreement, if the “settling” clients said anything to anyone about the fraud scheme, CAIR would be able to sue them for $25,000.
This enforced code of silence left hundreds of CAIR client-victims in the dark such that to this day they have not learned that Days is not an attorney and that he had not filed the legal actions on their behalf for which Days and CAIR publicly claimed credit.
The four plaintiffs contacted their attorney David Yerushalmi only after they had spoken to Dave Gaubatz, a private researcher who had been investigating CAIR for its connections to the Muslim Brotherhood and its ties to global jihad. Had Gaubatz not informed the plaintiffs of the fraud, they would still be under the impression that Days was a competent attorney representing their legal interests in various lawsuits and administrative proceedings.
The complaint identifies CAIR as a racketeering enterprise under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), which is a criminal racketeering statute that allows victims to sue the defendants in civil court. In addition to damages, the plaintiffs are seeking injunctive relief under this and other statutes to shut down CAIR and to prevent the individual defendants from engaging in public interest legal work in the future.
The named defendants are: the Council on American-Islamic Relations Action Network Inc. (dba CAIR); Nihad Awad aka Nihad Hammad who serves as executive director of CAIR National; Parvez Ahmed who was the chairman of the board of CAIR National during the relevant time period; Tahra Goraya who was the national director of CAIR but who has since resigned; Khadijah Athman who is the manager of the “civil rights” division of CAIR; and Nadhira al-Khalili, Esq., who is in-house legal counsel for CAIR.
According to the complaint, CAIR’s in-house Washington, D.C.-based attorney Khalili was directly involved in taking the legal files out of the CAIR Virginia office and concealing them in the D.C. office.
Also named as defendants are Ibrahim Hooper and Amina Rubin, CAIR’s director of communications and coordinator of communications, respectively. According to the complaint, these two were directly responsible for issuing fraudulent press releases about the Days fraud scheme, thus aiding and abetting the CAIR cover-up.
About David Yerushalmi, Esq.
David Yerushalmi has been practicing law for almost 25 years. He is a litigator specializing in securities law, public policy relating to national security, and public interest law. Mr. Yerushalmi is licensed and practices in Washington D.C., New York, California, and Arizona.
To read the complaint, download the pdf file.
VIDEO: The video above shows Dave Gaubatz serving CAIR’s executive director, Nihad Awad, with the Summons and Complaint at CAIR’s 14th Annual Dinner in Virginia. Awad was served on his own behalf and on behalf of CAIR and one of its two real estate holding companies.
Awad is standing behind a speaker (probably North Carolina State Senator and CAIR Board Member Larry Shaw) addressing the dinner crowd (approx. 700 people). U.S. Congressman Ellison, who has spoken at several CAIR regional dinners this year, was also scheduled to speak. He appears not to be troubled by CAIR’s involvement in the Holy Land Foundation terror financing trial. Maybe his close relationship to CAIR will now require a second or third thought.
Other CAIR officials served at the dinner were Khadijah Athman, CAIR’s manager of the civil rights division; Nahira al-Khalili, CAIR’s in-house lawyer in charge of legal affairs; and Amina Rubin, coordinator of communications. The remaining defendants will be served in the coming days.