‘Ground Zero Mosque’ founder sued for allegedly pocketing millions

Imam Feisal Abdul Raif
Photo credit Battery Park City News

The founder of Park51, the so-called “ground zero mosque” for its proximity to the twin towers that were destroyed on 9/11 by Islamic extremists, was sued for allegedly using foundation funds for personal use.

Imam Feisel Abdul Rauf, who was ousted from his position with Park51 in January 2011, continues as chairman of the Cordoba Initiative, which, according to its website, is “a multi-national, multi-faith organization dedicated to improving Muslim-West relations.”

Robert Leslie Deak filed a complaint Monday in New York Supreme Court in Manhattan, claiming that Rauf defrauded Deak and other contributors of millions of dollars by spending the funds on “his personal use,” including “a luxury sports car, personal real estate, entertainment [and] lavish trips,” according to court documents quoted by the New York Post. The lawsuit also alleges that at least a portion of the funds was used on a vacation.

Deak and the Deak Family Foundation are major contributors to the Cordoba Initiative and Park51, as is the Malaysian government. Court documents quoted by the Post allege Malaysia alone was defrauded of $3 million.

The complaint’s allegations against Rauf weren’t limited to defrauding project donors.

“Deak further charges that the Imam ‘falsified’ the nonprofit’s ‘tax returns for 2008, 2009 and 2010 by failing to report receipt of funds from foreign sources and transfers of funds,’” the Post reported.

Rauf denied the allegations through Paul Knight, his attorney, according to the Post.

Read more at The New York Post.

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