Court Orders Resentencing for Islamic Charity Leader

December 2, 2005

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The former head of a suburban Chicago-based Islamic charity accused of giving financial aid to Osama bin Laden's terrorist network must be resentenced.

Enaam Arnaout once headed the Benevolence International Foundation. He was sentenced to 11 years behind bars for defrauding the charity's donors.

But Friday, a federal appeals court ruled that the judge who handed down the prison term erred in stiffening the sentence on grounds Arnaout defrauded more than 50 people.

The three-judge panel also found that judge Suzanne Conlon made a mistake when she failed to consider whether Arnaout should have been given more time for abusing the trust of charity's donors.

Arnaout admitted to defrauding his donors by hiding the fact he was using their donations to ship boots, uniforms and other items to fighters in Bosnia and Chechnya.

The government was unable to prosecute him on charges of aiding bin Laden's terrorist network.

It's not known whether Friday's ruling on resentencing will result in less prison time for the 42-year-old.




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