It’s been less than one week since Shakir Hamoodi – a Columbia businessman – had to leave his community and start his 3-year prison sentence.
Hamoodi was sentenced to federal prison in May for violating trade sanctions. He sent more than $200,000 to family, friends and charities in his native Iraq. The U.S. had placed trade sanctions against Iraq, meaning these donations were illegal at the time. The sanctions have since been lifted. Hamoodi says he has no regrets – his family needed the money for health care. Prosecutors found no proof that Hamoodi was aiding the government of Saddam Hussein.
As KBIA’s Lukas Udstuen explains, Columbia residents of different faiths came together to support a man who many feel received an unjust sentence.
This story was produced in partnership with ColumbiaFAVS, mid-Missouri's source for news about faith and values.