Bloomberg News

Times Square Bomber’s Money Handler Younis Pleads Guilty

August 18, 2011

(Updates with defendant’s remarks in fourth paragraph.)

Aug. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Mohammad Younis, the New York man who provided $7,000 to Times Square bomber Faisal Shahzad, pleaded guilty to operating an illegal money-transfer business.

Younis, 45, of Centereach, New York, faces a prison term of as long as six months under a plea agreement, U.S. District Judge John Keenan in New York said today.

The defendant spoke on the phone to Shahzad and the two met on April 10, 2010, in a parking lot in Long Island where Younis provided him with money transferred by an unnamed co-conspirator in Pakistan, prosecutors said in an indictment. Younis also provided $5,000 to a second unnamed person as part of his illegal business, prosecutors said.

“I transmitted $5,000 to one individual and $7,000 to another individual,” Younis said today.

“You mean you didn’t know their names?” Keenan asked.

“No,” Younis said.

Shahzad’s name wasn’t mentioned in court today. Younis, who is scheduled to be sentenced Nov. 30, remains free on $100,000 bond. He declined to comment after the hearing.

“My client was not involved in any terrorist activities,” Phil Solages, Younis’s lawyer, said after the hearing. “Our client is a hard-working husband and father and he condemns the actions of Faisal Shahzad.”

Homemade Bombs

Shahzad pleaded guilty last year to planting homemade bombs in his Nissan Pathfinder and abandoning it in Manhattan’s Times Square on May 1, 2010. The bombs were discovered before they went off. Shahzad was sentenced in October to life in prison.

Prosecutors said the payments of cash Shahzad used to carry out the plot were arranged in Pakistan by associates of Tehrik- e-Taliban, the Pakistani arm of the Taliban, and transferred through the illegal money-remitting business Younis ran.

Keenan said today that Younis, a U.S. citizen originally from Pakistan, could be deported as a result of his conviction. The judge also signed an order directing Younis to forfeit the $12,000 he earned as part of the illegal money-transfer business.

The case is U.S. v. Younis, 10-CR-813, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).

--Editors: Andrew Dunn, Fred Strasser

To contact the reporters on this story: Patricia Hurtado in Manhattan federal court at pathurtado@bloomberg.net; Bob Van Voris in Manhattan federal court at pathurtado@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Andrew Dunn at adunn8@bloomberg.net.


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