Post-Dispatch: Support builds for Missouri man who violated Iraq sanctions

Scott Rowson shops at World Harvest International and Gourmet Foods in Columbia, Mo., on Tuesday, Nov. 5, 2013. Rowson is one of several customers and friends who have signed petitions and written letters to the White House asking for the early release of owner Shakir Hamoodi. Photo by Laurie Skrivan,

It’s been more than a year since Mr. Hamoodi of World Harvest reported to the federal prison in Leavenworth, KS. Despite near-universal recognition of this as a misapplication of justice, he sits there still, sharing a 9×7-foot cell with another inmate.

I stopped by the store the other day to pick up my CSA and load up on cheeses and ran into a St. Louis Post-Dispatch photographer, there to shoot for a story on Mr. Hamoodi’s case. Apparently Sen. McCaskill has forwarded information on the case to President Obama, but she may not or may not be actively pushing for his release. Here’s the story, and worth a read even if you are familiar with Mr. Hammoodi’s case.

If you feel moved to act, do some of your shopping at World Harvest, sign the online petition, contact Sen. McCaskill or even write him a letter at the following address:

Shakir Abdul-Ka Ani Hamoodi (21901045)
USP Leavenworth Satellite Camp
P.O. Box 1000
Leavenworth, KS 66048


Author: Scott

I am a married father of two. I graduated from Rock Bridge High School and then Mizzou before spending six years in the Washington, D.C. area. We returned to Columbia, Missouri in 2006.

2 thoughts

  1. ““The bottom line is he did plead guilty to violating a federal statute,” said Don Ledford, a spokesman for the U.S. attorney’s office in Missouri’s Western District.

    Hamoodi sent money through his own scheme and later through Life for Relief and Development, the Detroit-based charity that did international development work.

    He was a paid speaker and fundraiser for the charity. According to his plea agreement, Hamoodi didn’t have a written contract for the work until 2004. Prosecutors also said he did not report that income to the IRS and other government agencies, allowing his family to receive assistance such as food stamps. Prosecutors would not provide a time frame for that allegation.

    At sentencing in 2012 in Jefferson City, U.S. District Judge Nanette K. Laughrey said Hamoodi’s case was different than others like it because he was the leader of a conspiracy that lasted nine years and involved a considerable amount of money.

    Even though he had letters from recipients, she said the money was “like feathers being blown in the wind, and you can never keep track of where those dollars in fact went.”

    Facing a maximum of 57 months in prison, she sentenced him to 36 months and allowed him to self-report to a satellite prison camp in Fort Leavenworth, Kan., three months later, after celebrating Ramadan.”

    This guy wasn’t just sending money to his family. Between violating sanctions, tax fraud and assistance fraud, he got off fairly easy. He could have gotten worse.

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