Two letters published in the Post-Standard, 10/28/05
To the Editor:

When was the last time you heard about a doctor
committing Medicaid Fraud getting 22 years for defrauding the government?

When was the last time you heard about a CEO of a corporation getting 22 years for tax evasion?

I did the public relations work for a retired college professor who transported half-a-million dollars worth of medical supplies to Iraq without a license when the embargo was in force. He was never charged, even though his “crime” was a national news story carried on the evening news.

Dr. Dhafir’s real crime was that he is a Muslim convicted of crimes where normally the sentence is a fine, suspenson of professional license or a few years in jail at worst. He is a scapegoat in the “war on terror.”

Peter Wirth

Dhafir’s punishment did not fit his ‘crime’

To the editor:

The government’s prosecution – or should I say persecution – of Dr. Dhafir has proved that our justice system remains biased and needs major reform. We are still prosecuting and sentencing individuals solely on the base of their ethnicity, religion and beliefs.

If Dr. Dhafir’s name and his beliefs were different, he would have been going home with is wife and sentenced to time served, not back to jail for 22 years.

If anyone feels Dr. Dhafir’s punishment fits his crime, feel free to compare other white -collar crime cases of recent years. the formere CFO of HealthSouth, Weston Smith, involved in a $2.7-billion fraud case, was sentenced to 27 months in jail. Former Tyco exec Dennis Kozlowski, convicted of stealing $180 million, was sentenced to 8 1/3 years in jail. Andrew Fastow of Enron was convicted and sentenced to a maximum of 15 years in jail for stealing $32 million.

Dr. Dhafir, a Muslim with the Help the Needy organization, was convicted of providing food and medicine to Iraqi women and children.

Rasem Mere