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New York doctor sentenced to 22 years for Iraq charity fraud

[JURIST] Dr. Rafil Dhafir, an oncologist in the Syracuse, New York area, was sentenced to 22 years in prison on Thursday after being convicted of 59 charges in February, including mail and wire fraud, conspiracy, tax evasion and money laundering. Dhafir was indicted in 2003 [JURIST report] for funneling donations for his Help The Needy charity to Iraq in violation of US sanctions. Dhafir told the court on Thursday that the prosecution's fraud case against him was politically motivated [Aljazeera report] and was misrepresented because he could not be linked to terrorism. Then-Attorney General John Ashcroft characterized Dhafir as a terrorist, but no terrorism charges were ever filed and both parties were forbidden from mentioning terrorism at trial. The Syracuse Post-Standard has local coverage.

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Paper Chase is JURIST's real-time legal news service, powered by a team of 30 law student reporters and editors led by law professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law. As an educational service, Paper Chase is dedicated to presenting important legal news and materials rapidly, objectively and intelligibly in an accessible format.

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