Money was paid by Pakistan for lobbying on Kashmir.
By Deepak Chitnis
WASHINGTON, DC: A Maryland-based orthopedic surgeon, Abdul Razaq, has pleaded guilty to tax fraud, part of a scheme to conceal a $3.5 million payment he received from the government of Pakistan.
According to a statement released by the FBI, Razaq received the enormous sum of money in installments over the course of a decade from Pakistan. The payoff was for his lobbying work in regards to Kashmir, although what exactly he was advocating has not been made clear.
The La Plata-based surgeon never reported the income to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), however. According to the FBI, he routed the money through the Society for International Help, a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization that Razaq is on the Board of Directors of, and another charity called the Kashmiri American Council.
Razaq was also part of a large network of donors that was headed up by Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai, which was part of the ruse to conceal the fact that these charities were being used to launder money from Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, which was the wing of the government that was making the payments.
The investigation into the fraud began years ago, although specifics are not available. What is known is that Fai was sentenced over a year and a half ago – on March 30, 2012 – to two years in prison for his role in the malfeasance.
Razaq – who had an office in Waldorf, Maryland and enjoyed an approval rating of 4.7 stars (out of 5) on medical review site HealthGrades.com – entered his plea deal last week, admitting to attempting to scam the Department of Treasury. He will be sentenced on July 18 of next year, at which point he faces up to five years behind bars.
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