Leniency sought for Mo. man in Iraq sanctions case

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Supporters of a Columbia man sentenced to three years in prison for sending money to Iraq despite federal sanctions are organizing an effort to commute his federal sentence.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/Kh3iqs ) that 100 people gathered Wednesday on behalf of Shakir Hamoodi, owner of World Harvest market and former University of Missouri nuclear scientist.

The Iraqi-American businessman pleaded guilty in 2009 to violating federal sanctions by sending about $200,000 to family, friends and charities in Iraq from 1991 to 2003. Investigators found no evidence that Hamoodi was aiding the Iraqi government through the financial contributions. His three-year prison sentence was handed down on May 16.

His supporters include Columbia radio host Paul Pepper and former University of Missouri curator Craig van Matre (MAY’-tree), who is also Hamoodi’s lawyer.

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Information from: Columbia Daily Tribune, http://www.columbiatribune.com

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