WASHINGTON (CN) - The Council on American-Islamic Relations Action Network, or CAIR, employed a "resident attorney" to help Muslims in America deal with legal issues, but he is not licensed to practice law, according to two federal complaints. The plaintiffs claim that CAIR is "a criminal organization" posing as a civil liberties legal service, but it actually is a "covert front group for Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, organizations with a long history of terrorism through jihad."
CAIR, which describes itself as "America's largest Muslim civil liberties group," allowed Morris J. Days III to pose as a licensed attorney and fraudulently collect legal fees from CAIR's clients, according to the complaints.
When the clients found that Days not an attorney, and had never even attended law school, CAIR covered up its actions by claiming that Days did not actually work for it, but was an "independent contractor," according to the complaints.
The plaintiffs are Muslims of various backgrounds from Virginia. They say they went to CAIR for help for a range of legal issues, including employment discrimination, immigration problems and divorce proceedings.
The plaintiffs say CAIR made public representations through mail and on its Web site that "Days, as an attorney employed by CAIR, represented well over 100 individual clients."
But the plaintiffs say CAIR knew as early as November 2007 that Days was not an attorney, but did not fire him until February 2008, when complaints from its clients became more vocal and threatening.
The plaintiffs say CAIR management made no effort to inform them of the problem, nor did they contact authorities. Instead, they say, CAIR told its clients, "Days was never an employee of CAIR ... rather that he was an independent contractor ... and the victims had to take up their complaints with Days."
Plaintiffs, who include Rene Arturo Lopez, Aquilla A.D. Turner, Mohammed Barakatullah Abdussalaam, and Bayenah Nur, allege violations of the Consumer Protection Act, emotional distress, and breach of fiduciary duties. They seek punitive damages and are represented by David Yerushalmi of Chandler, Ariz.
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