Ore. Islamic charity founder ordered to prison

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MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) -- The founder of an Islamic charity in Oregon must go to prison while awaiting the outcome of his appeal on federal tax fraud and conspiracy charges.

The Mail Tribune newspaper (http://bit.ly/wgLFgo ) reports Thursday that the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has upheld a lower court ruling denying a stay of the sentence for Pirouz Sedaghaty, also known as Pete Seda, while his appeal is heard.

A jury found Sedaghaty guilty of helping to smuggle $150,000 to Saudi Arabia through the Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation in Ashland. Prosecutors argued the money was meant for Islamic fighters in Chechnya, but Judge Michael Hogan ruled they failed to prove that aspect.

Sedaghaty has lately been living in Portland. He was sentenced to 33 months in prison. He must report Feb. 29.

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Information from: Mail Tribune, http://www.mailtribune.com/