Iranian Ayatollah Had Money Laundering 'Child Foundation' Scheme in U.S.

A federal jury in Oregon has convicted a Texas couple for funneling money to an Ayatollah in Iran through the Child Foundation, a nonprofit that claims to help children in Iran with U.S. dollars.

The U.S. Attorney’s office released this statement:

“Trial evidence showed that defendants provided funds to a Portland charity, the Child Foundation, between 1998 and 2006. The Child Foundation, in turn, gave the defendants charitable donation receipts and transferred the funds to Iran. Defendants claimed charitable deductions from their income taxes for these payments. Some of the funds were used to purchase a building in Tehran in the name of Hossein Lahiji’s sister. Additional funds were used to invest in an interest-bearing account in an Iranian bank. Yet additional funds were committed to be spent at the discretion of an Iranian Ayatollah”
The couple, a urologist and an attorney from Texas, stood trial in Oregon as the nonprofit was located in that state. The couple is set to face additional federal charges in Texas. The Child Foundation was prosecuted separately but the group is continuing to operate.

The couple and the nonprofit violated an executive order issued by Bill Clinton in 1995 further restricting exchange with Iran.

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