St. Louis Public Radio News
8:32 am
Wed October 15, 2008

Feds accuse 14 of illegally sending money abroad

St. Louis – Fourteen members of a St. Louis-based convenience store organization face federal indictments on charges of receiving stolen property, real-estate fraud and illegally transferring money abroad.

All are of Palestinian origin, though some are American citizens. They were the target of an investigation by the Joint Terrorism Task Force.

But U.S. Attorney Catherine Hanaway said the indictment does not allege terrorist activities, only that multiple crimes were committed.

"When was the last time we had a press conference where we talked about a scheme that involved the receipt and sale of stolen goods, mortgage fraud, bank fraud and sending funds overseas?" Hanaway said.

Hanaway alleges mortgage fraud ranging from $1 million to $2 million as well as receipt of stolen goods including cigarettes, baby formula, and electronics equipment.

Ten of the 14 people have been apprehended so far.