Seda Must Go To Prison During Appeal Process

Feb 23, 2012

The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled an Oregon man must report to prison next week for a money laundering conviction. The case centered around a defunct Ashland Islamic charity.

Pete Seda was convicted last year on charges surrounding a 1999 transaction that sent $180,000 to Chechnya on behalf of Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation of Oregon. Seda said the money was intended for charitable relief efforts. Seda ran the Oregon arm of a charity of the same name that originated in Saudi Arabia. The federal government said Al-Haramain had ties to terrorism, and successfully prosecuted Seda under its post-September 11th purview for counter-terrorism.

A federal judge in Oregon decided Seda posed too much of a flight risk to go free pending an appeal. SEDA had left the country when Al-Haramain first came under scrutiny, then returned on his own to face trial in 2010. But the 9th circuit has affirmed that Seda cannot stay out of prison as his appeal goes forward.

He's been living in the Portland area, after spending decades in Ashland. He's to report to a federal prison February 29th.

Copyright 2012 Oregon Public Broadcasting