US court sentences Fai to 2 years in jail

Last Updated: Saturday, March 31, 2012 - 01:02

Virginia: Kashmiri separatist Ghulam Nabi
Fai was today sentenced to two years of imprisonment by a
court here for "conspiracy to defraud the US" by concealing
the transfer of at least USD 3.5 million from Pakistan`s ISI
to fund his illegal lobbying efforts on Kashmir.

62-year-old Fai`s 24 months of jail term will be followed
by three years of supervised release.

The judge also asked Fai not to maintain any contact with
the officials and agents of the Government of Pakistan and the
Pakistani spy agency - ISI.

"You participated in a conspiracy to defraud the US and
completely deceive the IRS (Internal Revenue Service).

"You knew Pakistan and the ISI was paying you in a manner
because your actions would be consistent with theirs and you
would represent their voice and you were willing to do so,"
Judge Liam O`Grady of a court in Alexandria, Virginia, a
suburb of Washington DC, said before announcing the verdict.

The judge also said, "He (Fai) clearly knew, he is being
paid...Pakistan has lost wars with India on Kashmir and so
Pakistan is looking for other means to achieve its
objectives."

Fai was arrested by the FBI on July 19 last year and had
subsequently pleaded guilty before the court to the charges of
being a paid agent of the ISI.

Fai, who was represented by Nina Ginsberg in the court,
also requested the court to allow him to surrender after
graduation of his daughter on June 25, a plea which was
granted.

Virginia: Kashmiri separatist Ghulam Nabi
Fai was today sentenced to two years of imprisonment by a
court here for "conspiracy to defraud the US" by concealing
the transfer of at least USD 3.5 million from Pakistan`s ISI
to fund his illegal lobbying efforts on Kashmir.

62-year-old Fai`s 24 months of jail term will be followed
by three years of supervised release.

The judge also asked Fai not to maintain any contact with
the officials and agents of the Government of Pakistan and the
Pakistani spy agency - ISI.

"You participated in a conspiracy to defraud the US and
completely deceive the IRS (Internal Revenue Service).

"You knew Pakistan and the ISI was paying you in a manner
because your actions would be consistent with theirs and you
would represent their voice and you were willing to do so,"
Judge Liam O`Grady of a court in Alexandria, Virginia, a
suburb of Washington DC, said before announcing the verdict.

The judge also said, "He (Fai) clearly knew, he is being
paid...Pakistan has lost wars with India on Kashmir and so
Pakistan is looking for other means to achieve its
objectives."

Fai was arrested by the FBI on July 19 last year and had
subsequently pleaded guilty before the court to the charges of
being a paid agent of the ISI.

Fai, who was represented by Nina Ginsberg in the court,
also requested the court to allow him to surrender after
graduation of his daughter on June 25, a plea which was
granted.

Fai said that he did not tow the Pakistani line and he
always espoused the cause of independent Kashmir -- while
Pakistan wants to make Kashmir part of it.

"Words possibly can`t define the damage that I have done
to my beautiful family and friends in the US and the damage
that I have done to the Kashmir cause," Fai told the court.

"I never intended to harm anybody in the world, never
intended to harm the US. My sole motivation was to work for
the people of Kashmir and their right of self determination,"
he added.

Fai then went into propaganda mode and said: "I know the
road to freedom is long but there is no short cut."

Fai served as the director of KAC, an NGO in Washington
which claims to be run by Kashmiris, financed by Americans,
and dedicated to raising the level of knowledge in US about
the Kashmir issue.
But according to court documents filed with his plea
agreement, KAC was secretly funded by officials employed by
the government of Pakistan, including the ISI.

Fai admitted in court that, from 1990 until about July 18,
2011, he conspired with others to obtain money from officials
employed by the government of Pakistan, including the ISI, for
the operation of the KAC in US, and that he did so outside the
knowledge of the US government and without attracting the
attention of law enforcement and regulatory authorities.

To prevent the Justice Department, FBI, Department of
Treasury and the IRS from learning the source of the money he
received from officials employed by the government of Pakistan
and the ISI, Fai made a series of false statements and
representations, according to court documents.

For example, Fai told FBI agents in March 2007 that he had
never met anyone who identified himself as being affiliated
with the ISI and, in May 2009, he falsely denied to the IRS on
a tax return for the KAC that it had received any money from
foreign sources in 2008.

In addition, according to court documents, Fai sent a
letter in April 2010 to the Justice Department falsely
asserting that the KAC was not funded by the government of
Pakistan.

Later that year, Fai falsely denied to the IRS that the
KAC had received any money from foreign sources in 2009.
In July 2011, Fai falsely denied to FBI agents that he or
the KAC received money from the ISI or government of Pakistan.

In fact, Fai repeatedly submitted annual KAC strategy
reports and budgetary requirements to Pakistani government
officials for approval, the documents said.

Fai also admitted that, from 1990 until about July 18,
2011, he corruptly endeavored to obstruct and impede the due
administration of the internal revenue laws by arranging for
the transfer of at least USD 3.5 million to the KAC from
employees of the government of Pakistan and the ISI.

According to court documents, Fai accepted the transfer of
such money to the KAC from the ISI and the government of
Pakistan through his co-defendant Zaheer Ahmad and middlemen
(straw donors), who received reimbursement from Ahmad for
their purported "donations" to the KAC.

Fai provided letters from the KAC to the straw donors
documenting that their purported "donations" to the KAC were
tax deductible and encouraged these donors to deduct the
transfers as "charitable" deductions on their personal tax
returns.

Fai concealed from the IRS that the straw donors`
purported KAC "donations" were reimbursed by Ahmad, using
funds received from ISI and the government of Pakistan.

PTI



First Published: Friday, March 30, 2012 - 12:58

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