Cathy Salter talks to Shakir Hamoodi before eating dinner at a celebration and farewell event for Hamoodi on Wednesday August 22, 2012. Hamoodi was sentenced to three years in federal prison for sending money to Iraq during U.S. trade sanctions.
More than 100 people crowded into Columbia's Rock Bridge Christian Church last night to celebrate and say goodbye to Columbia businessman Shakir Hamoodi. Next week, Hamoodi is expected to begin a three year federal prison sentence. He earlier pled guilty to sending about $200,000 to family, friends and charities in his native Iraq from 1991 to 2003. Many of the speakers at the event echoed a similar theme: A conflict between what is legal and what is just. Investigators found no evidence that Hamoodi was aiding the Iraqi government through the financial contributions.