A law firm that claimed the Council on American Islamic Relations committed fraud against its former clients has won an 11-year legal battle.
In 2008, American Freedom Law Center filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of five former clients of CAIR. The duped clients said the organization's Herndon, Virginia office failed to provide proper legal counsel despite the appearance of a legitimate legal operation that helped Muslim clients.
A settlement was announced June 6 by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.
David Yerushalmi, co-founder and senior counsel at the law center, tells OneNewsNow the main CAIR culprit was Morris Days, who claimed to be an attorney who counseled hundreds of unsuspecting Virginia clients.
“But it turned out he was not an attorney,” says Yerushalmi, “and instead of being transparent with all the victims, who thought he'd been filing lawsuits and handling immigration matters, which he had not been doing any of, other than taking their money for expenses.”
Instead of admitting to the fraud, the attorney says CAIR attempted to cover up Days’ misdeeds by firing him and closing the Virginia office, which made the discovery process difficult.
“CAIR tried to hide evidence. They tried to destroy evidence,” Yerushalmi alleges. “They tried to claim it was attorney-client privilege evidence that couldn't be disclosed, and at each turn we fought them and they lost."
In the end, he says, CAIR agreed to settlement terms rather than go to a jury trial scheduled for September.
CAIR has emerged as an influential Islamic apologist in the U.S, wooing federal agencies and lawmakers with overtures of religious tolerance while using claims of “Islamaphobia” to fight its critics.
Meanwhile, Yerushalmi says the Freedom Law Center wanted to expose CAIR’s terrorist ties to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood.
“As really the front group for global terrorists,” he alleges. “Being the organization it is, CAIR fights dirty at every turn and when you litigate against them, you have to be ready to fight as aggressively or more so than they're willing to fight."