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Saturday, August 19, 2006

Jihad backer sentenced in Chicago for fraud

A former grocery store owner already facing three years in prison for aiding a terrorist group got 14 months tacked onto his sentence Friday for swindling a government social welfare program out of $1.4 million (€1.1 million).

Hatem Fariz, 33, must serve a total of 51 months in federal prison under the sentence handed down by US District Judge Milton I. Shadur.

Fariz, who now lives in Spring Hill, Florida, also was ordered to repay the money he siphoned off by swapping cash for government food stamp vouchers.

At the same time, Fariz pleaded guilty in a federal court in Tampa to conspiring to provide financial aid to Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which has been designated by the US government as a terrorist organization.

Fariz received a 37-month sentence on the Florida charge.

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