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July 30, 2014

Years-Long Case Against Islamic Charity Chief Dropped

An Oregon-based Muslim charity pleaded guilty to tax fraud Tuesday as part of a deal with prosecutors that saw longstanding charges against the organization's former leader dropped, the Associated Press writes.

The U.S. branch of the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation admitted to one count of filing a false tax return in connection with a $150,000 overseas donation in 2000 and was placed on three years' probation. The charity failed to report that the funds went to Saudi Arabia and were meant to be sent to Chechnya, prosecutors said.

Pete Seda of Ashland, Ore., served a 33-month prison term after being convicted of tax fraud in 2010. The government accused Mr. Seda of smuggling the $150,000 out of the country to aid Chechen rebels and declared Al-Haramain a terrorist organization. A federal appeals court overturned Mr. Seda's conviction last year.