You are hereOccupy For Accoutability: James O’Keefe, A Case For Prosecution: The MeacTrust Debacle
Occupy For Accoutability: James O’Keefe, A Case For Prosecution: The MeacTrust Debacle
December 1, 2011- James O’Keefe has been many things over the course of his life; one of them is a criminal impersonator. Outlining the crux of this criminal impersonator’s case, Kevin Zeese filed a series of documents with the federal court that oversees James O’Keefe and his probation, and also sent copies to his probation officer and the Department of Justice outlining how Mr. O’Keefe is a serial impersonator and con artist. These documents are published here, and I will outline some of the document in this article that concerns the MEACTrust.org website.
Mr. O’Keefe Is Currently Committing Fraud With Regard To a Fake Website He Created, Falsely Purporting To Support Muslims, Which Includes False Information Requesting Tax Exempt Donations Scamming Muslims And Others, And Illegal Impersonation
The Fake MeacTrust.org Website
On January 15, 2011, James O’Keefe, using the email address email@example.com registered the website domain name, MeacTrust.org with an address of 2100 M. Street, NW, Suite 170, Washington, DC 20037. Exhibit F. “MEAC” is an acronym for Muslim Education Action Center. The address for MeacTrust is the same address Mr. O’Keefe lists for Project Veritas on its website. Shortly after registering this domain, Mr. O’Keefe created a public website tied to the www.MeacTrust.org called “MEAC of America.” Exhibit H. This website purports to serve the Muslim community but is in fact a fraud and a scam, and constitutes a direct attack on Islam and profound disrespect for Muslims everywhere. Everything on the website is a lie, made up to deceive the reader.
On the home page of the website, Mr. O’Keefe states in the left sidebar: “Welcome to MEAC. We are a charitable organization dedicated to promoting a proper understanding of Islam.” In the center section, he continues his lies:
“Welcome to the Muslim Education Action Center.
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuhu, Islam in America is at a crossroads. One path is continued confusion, hatred, intolerance and discrimination, and the other is the truth and beauty of the Quran.
America has been struggling with which road to choose primarily because it does not know or understand the beauty of our holy teachings.
Amidst these perilous times for Islam in America, MEAC has come a long way in recent years thanks to the tremendous leadership and generousity (sic) of Chairman Bin Talal, his associates, and his family. MEAC Trust holdings have nearly tripled under his tenure and continue to grow, ensuring that as the Islamic way of life is increasingly threatened in America, MEAC will have the means to respond and continue to protect the vision of our founders. MEAC continues to bring religious education and truth to students across the country and to serve the growing Islamic schools and university departments with resources, support and guidance. We also assist educational institutions in lobbying state and national government for the autonomy and resources necessary for effective teaching of Islam.
In this current time of conflict we see opportunity - opportunity to spread truth to the public, an opportunity for enlightenment. MEAC is a leader in Islamic education and we assist those who take the action necessary to effect change, to bring America into the light and away from the forces of division, intolerance and injustice.
MEAC is a servant of Islam, and may peace be upon us all.
At the bottom of the page, Mr. O’Keefe falsely states that the MeacTrust website was copyrighted and created in 2008:
“© 2008 Muslim Education Action Center | Educating Against Ignorance” On the “About Us” page, Mr. O’Keefe continues his lies and scam:
“Muslim Education Action Center (MEAC) is a waqf, the historical Islamic equivalent of an American trust or endowment, serving Muslims in the United States and their institutions. MEAC facilitates the realization of American Muslims' desire for a virtuous and happy life in a Shari'ah-compliant way. MEAC is a not-for-profit entity that qualifies as a tax-exempt organization under
Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. MEAC began as a small local organization in 1986 in New Jersey (MEACNJ). In 1988, the MEAC trust was established to support Islamic educational centers and institutions across the country.
This web site is dedicated to Brother Mohammad Sharif Mahdavi, who passed away to the Hereafter on Friday December 1, 2006. He had been a trustee of MEAC since March 1993.”
“What We Do.”
“ After recent dramatic expansions, MEAC has donated annually between 9 and 27 million in each of the last five years. MEAC contributes to organizations that we believe advance tolerance and understanding of Islam in the American community. We especially look for organizations that share our philosphical (sic) approach to the spread of Islam and the establishment of Sharia worldwide (see Philosophy). Our board meets formally once a year, but members do converse individually throughout the year to consider new recipients.”On the “Philosophy” page, Mr. O’Keefe falsely states that MEAC promotes tolerance and education of Islam.
On the “Contributions” page, Mr. O’Keefe falsely states that MEAC is a 501c3 charitable organization that can accept donations and that such donations are tax-exempt.“While MEAC depends heavily on large donors, both individual and institutional, and for that we are blessed, we could not sustain ourselves without the support of individuals like you. Because MEAC qualifies as a tax-exempt organization under Section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code, all donations are tax exempt.
Rest assured that all MEAC Trust holdings are invested in Shariah compliant stocks, domestic and foreign securities, and portfolios based on Islamic principles. All donations that are not immediately put to use will be held in Shariah compliant fashion, putting principle before profit.
Please send contributions to:
Muslim Education Action Center
2100 M St NW Ste 170
Washington, D.C. 20037
For further questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Under “Solicitations,” Mr. O’Keefe falsely states that Muslim organizations can apply for grants from MEAC.
“A majority of MEAC contributions go to organizations we have sought and contacted ourselves, and as such, we do not maintain an extensive staff to evaluate unsolicited proposals, though we certainly do consider applications. Organizations that apply for financial assistance should have strong references, especially from organizations that have current or past relationships with MEAC. The fastest path to consideration is to contact us through those references. Otherwise, please contact us at email@example.com.”
On the “Contact” page, Mr. O’Keefe lists a host of fake names to make it appear that respected Muslims operate MEAC, and that it has a board of directors. The phone number listed directs to a Google Voice answering machine.
Hisham bin Talal
What is taking the Probation Office so long to come down on O’Keefe? Well, it might just be that the FBI is monitoring his activities, listening to his phone calls, and watching his emails in preparation for a criminal indictment. Indeed, even under New Jersey law, if one looks at the New Jersey statutes concerning impersonation, one can easily see that it is in fact a violation of the law in New Jersey to impersonate someone else, which James O’Keefe has built his reputation on over the years, which culminated in his arrest at Senator Mary Landrieu’s office in another impersonation scheme. The relevant law in New Jersey states:
2C:21-17. Impersonation; theft of identity; crime.
a. A person is guilty of an offense if the person:
(1) Impersonates another or assumes a false identity and does an act in such assumed character or false identity for the purpose of obtaining a benefit for himself or another or to injure or defraud another;
(2) Pretends to be a representative of some person or organization and does an act in such pretended capacity for the purpose of obtaining a benefit for himself or another or to injure or defraud another;
(3) Impersonates another, assumes a false identity or makes a false or misleading statement regarding the identity of any person, in an oral or written application for services, for the purpose of obtaining services;
(4) Obtains any personal identifying information pertaining to another person and uses that information, or assists another person in using the information, in order to assume the identity of or represent himself as another person, without that person's authorization and with the purpose to fraudulently obtain or attempt to obtain a benefit or services, or avoid the payment of debt or other legal obligation or avoid prosecution for a crime by using the name of the other person; or
(5) Impersonates another, assumes a false identity or makes a false or misleading statement, in the course of making an oral or written application for services, with the purpose of avoiding payment for prior services. Purpose to avoid payment for prior services may be presumed upon proof that the person has not made full payment for prior services and has impersonated another, assumed a false identity or made a false or misleading statement regarding the identity of any person in the course of making oral or written application for services.
While this might be a case of selective enforcement, in the case of a Federal Probationer it seems to be a very cut and dried case to make. MeacTrust.org was set up to defraud others. It was set up in fact to make the executives at National Public Radio believe that this was in fact a charitable organization that could disperse money to various organizations. Regardless of whether or not they had any money, they set this operation in motion with the INTENT to defraud NPR into believing that they were in fact a real charitable organization. This violates part 1 of the above. James O’Keefe and his organization The Project Veritas also violated part 2 above, pretending to be a representative of an organization that in fact did not exist, but was made up or fraudulent for the purpose of obtaining a benefit for themselves which would be to sting NPR executives into an agreement to accept money from MEACTrust, and also to injure and or defraud NPR executives by doing so. Mr. O’Keefe also violated part 3 by making an application for services under fraudulent means by representing that they were in fact a Muslim Organization dedicated to helping other organizations with financing. The injury comes through misleading NPR executives into thinking that they represented Muslims or people of Muslim faith which further degrades those of that faith by fraudulently representing themselves as Muslims. Yet, with all of the above, the Department of Justice and the Court which supervises the case against Mr. O’Keefe has done nothing to reign in a criminal impersonator such as Mr. O’Keefe or his organization under the Impersonation statutes or even the RICO statutes, since this is an organization that goes about committing fraud for the purposes of highlighting fraud in the current system.
In another case that strains credibility Mr. O’Keefe is supposed to file a request with the court of record for any travel he intends to make as to make sure the court is aware of his travel plans. He has filed on numerous occasions to travel to various speaking engagements for Americans for Prosperity which is a right wing organization funded by the Koch bothers. However he traveled outside of New Jersey without approval of the court or even notifying the court that he was traveling to New York for the purposes of documenting the Occupy Wall Street movement. In a video that has to be seen to be believed he identifies himself and impersonates a Wall Street Banker for the express purposes of getting dirt on Occupy Wall Street protesters.
In this video he walks out of a building with a suit and tie on and glasses and makes his way into Zuccotti Park and starts telling various people that he is a Wall Street banker and has associations with various billionaires which can fund various plans of protesters.
This is another in a long line of flagrant impersonation schemes which defies credibility. Here he is on video claiming he is someone he isn’t and flagrantly violating every impersonation law on the books and yet is not even charged with such criminality. And after calling his probation officer Thomas Larson Mr. Larson stated that he knew of the travel plans to New York and did not care about it, and did not feel he was responsible to tell the court of his travel plans or his impersonation schemes while there. In other words as far as the federal probation office and Thomas Larson, it is OK to go out and continue to commit criminal activity while on probation. How many other cases are prosecuted for less I ask?
Yet, with all the so called minor impersonation cases ongoing against people who have been charged for less, James O’Keefe, a federal probationer, is allowed to continue impersonating people and organizations without fear of arrest or charges while on Federal Probation. How can that be?
Read the documents that were filed in this case to see more of what has been going on below.