Former Candidate Seeks Info on Impostor

     DALLAS (CN) – A former California congressional candidate claims in court that an impersonator used computers at a FedEx Kinko’s outlet to post false admissions of fraud and embezzlement.
     Banafsheh Akhlaghi, a Democrat, of Mill Valley, Calif., seeks a pre-suit deposition of FedEx Office and Print Services, in Dallas County Court.
     Akhlaghi claims that 1 month after she announced the formation of an exploratory committee for her candidacy in California’s 2nd Congressional District, someone impersonating her sent libelous and defamatory emails in her name from a Rosemead, Calif., FedEx Kinko’s. She says the emails included text from a phony blog set up in her name.
     In her complaint, Akhlaghi says the false blog entries stated: “I take responsibility for embezzling money from my employers, harassing and abusing my employees, and the detentions and deportations of my clients. I am sorry for the disappointment, hurt, and any destruction of life that I was responsible for. I was an inexperienced attorney when I started working on the Special Registration (NSEERS). I did not know what I was doing and I take responsibility for the pain I caused you and your families.”
     Akhlagi claims that “in addition to the libelous and defamatory emails, a person who identified themselves as ‘Ross D.’ uploaded a picture of the petitioner to a Yelp page and labeled it ‘Banafsheh Akhlaghi: Fraud.'”
     Akhlaghi wants Dallas-based Fedex Kinko’s to testify from which store the false emails and blog posts originated, what employees were working at the time, video footage from the store, the identity of the impostor, and information from his or her credit card that can legally be released.
     FedEx Kinko’s has indicated that it will not oppose Akhlagi’s request, according to the petition.
     Akhlaghi suspended her campaign for Congress in February.
     She wrote on her website: “After careful review and long deliberation, I have decided to discontinue my campaign for Congress. Being new to politics has its advantages but also its disadvantages. I do not feel we have enough time to mount the campaign we need to win in a district as large as this one.”
     Akhlagi, a native of Iran who immigrated with her family to the United States at age 5, was a professor of constitutional law at the John F. Kennedy School of Law, according to her website. She left for her own practice after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, handling deportation proceedings, detentions, racial/ethnic/religious profiling and asylum relief. She later transformed her solo practice into the National Legal Sanctuary for Community Advancement, a civil and human rights advocacy group that has represented or advised more than 3,200 people in the areas of selective immigration enforcement, FBI background check delays, security clearance denials, no fly lists and employment discrimination, among other things.
     California’s 2nd Congressional District is the largest by area in the state. It includes most of the northernmost interior, including Sacramento, Chico and Redding. The district spans from the San Francisco Bay-area to the Oregon border. It is represented by Republican Wally Herger, who announced in January he would not seek re-election this year.
     Akhlaghi is represented by Scott Hendler of Austin.

%d bloggers like this: