Judge: Islamic charity founder free until ruling

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MEDFORD, Ore. (AP) -- A U.S. District Judge has issued an order allowing a man convicted of using a defunct Islamic charity to smuggle money to Saudi Arabia to remain free while waiting on an appeals court ruling.

Pete Seda, also known as Pirouz Sedaghaty, was convicted of tax evasion and conspiracy for using his Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation charity to help smuggle $150,000 from Ashland to Saudi Arabia in 2000.

U.S. District Court Judge Michael Hogan ruled Seda will remain free until the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals also resolved the question of whether he can stay free until his appeals are settled, the Medford Mail Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/xhQOIO ).

Prosecutors have indicated they will seek an order to force Seda to report to prison quickly should the appeals court rule against him.

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