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struggle4progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 08:26 PM
Original message
Mich. prosecutor dropping terror case
Aug. 16, 2006, 6:57PM

By SARAH KARUSH Associated Press Writer
2006 The Associated Press

BAY CITY, Mich. Three Palestinian-American men who were found with nearly 1,000 cell phones were charged Wednesday with federal fraud conspiracy and money laundering after a county prosecutor backed off from terrorism charges filed earlier.

Maruan Muhareb, 18; Adham Othman, 21; and Louai Othman, 23, all of the Dallas area, were charged in Bay City with conspiracy to defraud consumers and telephone providers by trafficking in counterfeit goods. They also were charged with money laundering on suspicion that they used proceeds from the counterfeit cell phone transactions to buy more phones.

Magistrate Judge Charles Binder ordered the men held at least until a detention hearing Friday. They were arrested last Friday after buying dozens of cell phones at a Wal-Mart store in nearby Tuscola County.

The three in Michigan had been charged there with collecting or providing materials for terrorist acts and surveillance of a vulnerable target for terrorist purposes ...

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/nation/4122299.h...




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Miss Chybil Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 08:29 PM
Response to Original message
1. What am I missing here?
Weird to buy so many phones retail to resell, but doesn't one buy things and use the profit to buy more things to sell to use the profit to buy more things to sell to use the profit to buy more things to sell...? I don't get the charges.
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achtung_circus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. Apparently
people who resell cell phones buy the phone, break down the kit, into phone, carrier, recharger, memory card, etc. The parts are sold for more as parts than the intial investment, generating a profit.

The feds are obviously stretching to lay these charges.
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acmavm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 08:36 PM
Response to Reply #2
3. Gotta justify making asses out of themselves somehow. Just trying to
save a little face.
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truth2power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 11:09 PM
Response to Reply #2
13. The feds are stretching? I'll say! ...
Isn't what you described kinda like the auto salvage yards? You know, the guy buys wrecked cars and then parts them out for more than he paid for the original cars. Sounds like a profitable business to me. Is that considered money laundering? :eyes:
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achtung_circus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-17-06 09:56 AM
Response to Reply #13
17. I don't see it.
If I buy a pre-paid cell phone for say $30, open the package, sell the phone for $35, the charger for $15 the memory card for $20, that's capitalism. That's entrepeneurship.

That's terra.

Only in cloud cuckoo land.
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truth2power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 11:02 PM
Response to Reply #1
12. You're not missing anything...
That was my thought, too. If you have a business, any business, don't you use at least part of your profit to buy more product? Geez! What a bunch of morons those prosecutors must be.
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western mass Donating Member (718 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-17-06 03:24 AM
Response to Reply #1
14. The charge: DWM (driving while muslim)
Sorry for the confusion, citizen.
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Richard Steele Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 08:39 PM
Response to Original message
4. New bogus charges to distract from the old bogus charges. Pfft. nm
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Vidar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 10:19 PM
Response to Reply #4
11. Perfect, succinct summary, Thanks.
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roseBudd Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 08:54 PM
Response to Original message
5. And these guys were profiled, it was the Middle Eastern appearance &
surnames that led the jump to terrorism charges. And the $950,000 bail.
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The Stranger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 08:59 PM
Response to Original message
6. Completely racist, bigoted and xenophobic prosecutions.
Fraud conspiracy claims are a fucking joke, and they were desperate because they had nothing on them.
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 09:21 PM
Response to Original message
7. real quick to charge terroism! Don't buy more than one cell phone at a
time or you will end up on some nasty list.
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rodeodance Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 09:28 PM
Response to Original message
8. look, another case in OHIO, and charges dropped also
In the other case, two men from Michigan were released from jail Tuesday _ the same day a prosecutor in Ohio dropped similar charges against them. They were arrested with a dozen cell phones, passenger lists and $11,000 in cash during a traffic violation in Marietta, Ohio, on Aug. 8.

Authorities said they found airplane passenger lists and information on airport security checkpoints along with the cash and cell phones in the car.

The men initially were charged with supporting terrorism after buying large numbers of cell phones. Those charges were dropped, but the men still face misdemeanor counts stemming from allegations that they lied to deputies.
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RaRa Donating Member (705 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 09:40 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. airplane passenger lists and information on airport security checkpoints "
apparently, the kids were driving one of their mother's car and she's an Air Jordanian employee who had attended an airport security seminar at work and left the papers in the car. I really need to talk to my brother to get the scoop, since he's the attorney for one of the guys in Ohio (and my brother is now often quoted on some right wingnut blogs - especially since his office has Sherrod Brown and Ted Strickland stickers in his windows!)
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Demeter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-16-06 09:48 PM
Response to Original message
10. I'm Pleasantly Surprised the Michigan Prosecutor Blinked
since he's on my payroll, and not at all surprised that the Feds are hanging on to the bogus charges.
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noonwitch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-17-06 07:45 AM
Response to Original message
15. I would have been suspicious because of how far away from home they were
The Dearborn guys who were arrested in Ohio in a similar situation was different-Ohio is not that far away.

These guys were from Texas. It is summer and people come to Michigan for the beaches and nice weather we've been having, but I can see why the WalMart guys in a small town might have been somewhat suspicious. It was worth checking out, but probably not worth arresting anyone over it all.
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HuffleClaw Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-17-06 08:16 AM
Response to Original message
16. but they still try the trumped up bogus charge gambit ???
what utter bullshit. "conspiracy to defraud consumers and telephone providers by trafficking in counterfeit goods" bwahhaahhahhahhahaaaaa
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