Arab-American tycoon refutes charges of funding terrorist groups
Palestinian-American multimillionaire Jesse Maali pleaded not guilty Wednesday, November 27, to charges of money laundering and violating US immigration laws. The businessman, who owns souvenir shops and restaurant chains in Orlando, was released from jail after posting a $10 million bail. His trial is scheduled for January.
Prosecutors have accused Maali of funneling $2.25 million through shell companies to terrorist organizations and to illegal immigrants working for his businesses. Maali has denied the allegations, reported AP.
Three of Maali’s workers—driver Khan Aslam and store managers Saedullah Awan and Mahmood Jamal—were arrested mid-November also pleaded innocent to the same charges. The indictment of Maali's business partner, Saleem Khanani, was rescheduled for mid-December.
The entrepreneur initially opened several Ponderosa Steakhouse restaurants in the 1980s and then started his Big Bargain World, Sports Dominator and International Drive retail chain. — (menareport.com)
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