A federal jury convicted the co-founder of an Islamic charity chapter Thursday on charges he helped smuggle $150,000 to Muslim fighters in Chechnya.
Pete Seda had been charged with conspiracy to defraud the U.S. government and filing a false return with the IRS. His lawyers say they will appeal.
Seda claimed the money was intended as a tithe that his accountant failed to disclose because of an error on a tax return for the U.S. chapter of the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation in Ashland.
But prosecutors claimed Seda had a more sinister purpose, arguing throughout the weeklong trial that he was a Muslim radical posing as a moderate promoting peace.
Assistant U.S. attorneys Charles Gorder Jr. and Chris Cardani told the jury that Al-Haramain distributed two different versions of Islam’s holy book, the Quran, to U.S. prison inmates