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August 2009 Issue | Online: www.myCRESCENT.com | T: 214-306-7920 | E: dallas@myCRESCENT.com Since 2006

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The Prophet (PBUH) addressed his companions on the last day of Sha`ban, saying, “Oh people! A great month has come over you; a blessed month; a month in which is a night better than a thousand months; month in which Allah has made it compulsory upon you to fast by day, and voluntary to pray by night. Whoever draws nearer (to Allah) by performing any of the (optional) good deeds (in this month) shall receive the same reward as performing an obligatory deed at any other time, and whoever discharges an obligatory deed in (this month) shall receive the reward of performing seventy obligations at any other time. It is the month of patience, and the reward of patience is Heaven. It is the month of charity, and a month in which a believer’s sustenance is increased. Whoever gives food to a fasting person to break his fast, shall have his sins forgiven, and he will be saved from the Fire of Hell, and he shall have the same reward as the fasting person, without his reward being diminished at all.”

Simply Can’t Resist? Think Diabetes By Roohe Ahmed, MPH/ RD “Just a little bit of rice please; I’m watching my carbohydrates.” This scene is being played around in homes more and more often, as aunties, uncles, dadis, nanas, etc… are watching what they eat. Why, though? True, many more people are on the trendy

low-carb/high-protein diets to lose weight, but many of these people are watching their diets to control their diabetes, or high sugar, as many Desis put it. Over 17 million Americans have this disease, and many of them don’t even know it! Out of this percentage exactly how many are South Asians is hard to tell, but it literally

seems like everyone has this disease nowadays. What is diabetes? We’re starting to hear this phrase everywhere. Diabetes mellitus is a disease in which the pancreas produces little to no insulin, or the insulin becomes ineffective in the body, called insulin resistance. Insulin is vital in the body to help glucose—the main energy source for the body—make its way into cells to be used. Insulin, in a way, is the key opening the door to the cell so that glucose can get in and do its job. In diabetes, the glucose can’t get into the ... continues on page 03 >>>

ALL GONE? Community Members Fear Losing Thousands Of Dollars Each By Lena Dirbashi Abdul Basit Siddiqui is a prominent member of the Plano community. For the past several years he’s lived here, he worked hard to improve relations between his neighbors and the Muslim community. He served on the boards of Plano Masjid, CAIR, and the Multi Cultural Outreach Roundtable in Plano (MCOR). The former dean of the University of Texas at

Dallas, Christopher Parr, who has a library in the city of Plano named after him, served as one of the co-chairs with him on MCOR. Members of the community, both within the Muslim circle and beyond, looked to Mr. Siddiqui with great respect for these efforts. But behind closed doors, Mr. Siddiqui was drowning in a financial whirlpool. Working as a broker in his own business, a marketing consulting com-

pany called AmeriGlobe, his clients were all overseas where he brokered shipments - mostly food products - to his customers. He provided resources and invested in companies in the Far East and the Middle East. After funding these medium sized companies with the food purchases, the companies would repay him with profits after the foods were resold. He has been working with these same clients ...continues on page 10 >>>

- Narrated by Ibn Khuzaymah

FIQH COUNCIL ANNOUNCES RAMADAN AND EID DATES The Fiqh Council of North America (FCNA) recognizes astronomical calculation as an acceptable Sharia method for determining the beginning of lunar months including the months of Ramadan and Shawwal. FCNA uses Makkah al-Mukarram as a conventional point and takes the position that the conjunction must take place before sunset in Makkah and the moon must set after sunset in Makkah. On the basis of this method the dates of Ramadan and Eid ul-Fitr for the year 1430 AH are established as follows: 1st of Ramadan: Saturday, Aug 22, 2009 1st of Shawwal: Sunday, Sept 20, 2009

OLDER & MORE DIVERSE U.S. BY MID CENTURY The nation will be more racially and ethnically diverse, as well as much older, by midcentury, according to projections released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. Minorities, now roughly one-third of the U.S. population, are expected to become the majority in 2042, with the nation projected to be 54 percent minority in 2050. By 2023, minorities will comprise more than half of all children. By 2050, the minority population — everyone except for non-Hispanic, single-race whites — is projected to be 235.7 million out of a total U.S. population of 439 million. The nation is projected to reach the 400 million population milestone in 2039. In 2030, when all of the baby boomers will be 65 and older, nearly one in five U.S. residents is expected to be 65 and older. This age group is projected to increase to 88.5 million in 2050, more than doubling the number in 2008 (38.7 million). Source: U.S. Census Bureau


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The Lone Star Crescent | August 2009 | THINK DIABETES>> Continues from front page

>> cells and ends up accumulating in the bloodstream, eventually being excreted with urine, but causing problems on its way out. This is why it is very important for diabetics to be checking their blood glucose levels at home with diabetic meters; if blood glucose levels are consistently high, damage to the body can occur. Complications of diabetes include heart disease, kidney failure, blindness, nerve damage, and even amputations of limbs. This is no joking matter, but not to worry—it’s not a lost cause!

Types of Diabetes… There are two types of diabetes: Type I, or insulin dependent diabetes (formerly called juvenile onset diabetes), and Type II, or non-insulin dependent diabetes.

Continues on next page >>


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The Lone Star Crescent | August 2009 | THINK DIABETES

Now what?... With the technical stuff said and done, what can actually be done? Just because you have diabetes doesn’t mean you’re given a life sentence. Sure, once one gets diabetes, it becomes a part of one’s life, but it doesn’t have to rule life. Diet and exercise can definitely help control the diabetes to the point where your blood sugar levels are in control and you don’t need medication (unless you’re on insulin). It can be done!! Food can basically be broken down into protein, carbohydrate and fat, which is then used by the body for energy. Insulin helps the body actually use the energy. But the amount of time it takes for the body to break down each nutrient and put to use differs. The fastest nutrient to be broken down is carbohydrates and they are broken down into glucose which then enters the bloodstream (this is what diabetics have to be weary of, because it can increase their blood sugars in a flash). Protein is used in the body for growth, maintenance and energy. Protein is found in meats, poultry, fish, eggs, beans, lentils, as well as dairy products. Fat is also used for energy in the body. Both protein and fat take longer to break down. This is why it is important for the diabetic to eat a well balanced meal, complete with protein, fat and carbohydrates. With protein and fat, the body has something to “munch on” throughout the day until the next meal because there is a gradual release of glucose into the blood stream, not the sudden rush that carbohydrates may provide. What’s really important to watch is milk, fruits, and the “typical” carbohydrates known as starches, such as breads, noodles, rice, etc. However there are also certain vegetables to be cautious of due to their high levels of starch, or carbs: potatoes, corn,

peas, garbanzo beans (or channay), and lentils (daal). Each of the above can be eaten at every meal, but the diabetic really has to monitor how much they are eating. Juice is highly frowned upon for diabetics; if you think about it, in one glass of orange juice how many oranges are used? And think of just how much “sugar” is in each orange? Issues such as this and others are explained below in easy to follow charts you can cut out and paste on your fridge. We are listing below a general chart of what a diabetic who is on a 2,000 calorie diet (this is the “average” diet) can eat each day, as well as sample portions. We’re also including a sample menu for the typical Desi who can’t live without his or her Desi food. Diabetes is a complex disease, and each individual has different health issues. Therefore, it’s really important to see your family doctor. For help with just what specifically to eat based on individual preferences, find a local registered dietitian who can help you plan out what you can eat daily.

General Tips • DON’T SKIP MEALS! Eat at least 3 meals every day. Space meals about 4-5 hours apart and eat about the same time each day; this is especially important if you are taking medication. Some meal plans require a snack . • Control portion sizes and avoid overeating; follow the recommended serving sizes for food groups (see previous issue of Melanz.). • Exercise within your ability, preferably 3-4 times a week; ask your doctor before starting any regime. • Achieve and maintain a healthy weight. •To help keep your blood sugar steady, avoid

sugar and concentrated sweets in your diet.

to:)

•Omit or limit: sugar, honey, jam/jelly, pies, cakes, cookies, donuts, sweetened cereal, ice cream, sweet breads, canned fruit in syrup, regular soda.

•1 small piece of fruit •½ cup canned fruit (look for canned fruit stored in water or extra light syrup •¼ cup dried fruit

•Limit fruit to one small serving per meal. It’s best to avoid juices. •Increasing fiber in one’s diet can help control blood sugar levels. Pick whole grain carbs such as whole wheat breads and cereals, raw fruits and vegetables. •It’s necessary to control cholesterol and saturated fat due to the high risk that diabetics have for heart disease. •Prepare meats by roasting, baking and broiling; limit fried foods. •Used reduced/light/low fat margarine, mayo and dressings. •Change to low fat/nonfat milk products. •Limit the amount of oils used, and when using oils, pick polyunsaturated or monounsaturated fats (healthier fats from saturated fat) such as canola, olive oil. No ghee, or oils such as coconut or palm oil. •Avoid “hydrogenated fats” or “trans fats” which are found in processed foods; read labels for this term.

Diabetic Serving Sizes: Starch Group (1 serving size equivalent) {NOTE: 1 serving is equivalent to 15 grams of carbohydrates: you can look for this figure on food labels under “carbohydrates”. If for example you find that a slice of bread has 30 grams of carbohydrates, this is equivalent to 2 servings of starch} •1/3 cup cooked chawal (rice) •1 6-inch chapatti, paratha, puri, pita bread •1 slice of bread •½ cup of cereal, oatmeal •½ cup of corn, peas, potatoes •½ cup of daal (lentil)(daal is also a good source of protein, so it is counted as both a carbohydrate as well as a protein) Fruit Group (1 serving is equivalent

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CONTRIBUTORS: Bilal Mohammed, Aboobaker Ebrahim. Lena Dirbashi

Vegetable Group (1 serving equivalent) {This is a “free” group; load up on veggies to fill up! There is usually no limit—however avoid the starchy veggies listed above} •1 cup raw vegetables •½ cup cooked vegetables •½ cup vegetable juice Milk products (1 serving equivalent): •1 cup (8 fluid ounces) milk; preferably low fat •1 cup yogurt Meat and Meat Substitute (generally, 1 ounce of meat is alent to 1 meat serving. 1 is approximately 1/3 the size palm of your hand)

Group equivounce of the

•1 oz meat, poultry, fish •1 oz cheese •1 egg •¼ cup cottage cheese •½ cup daal (lentil), peas, cooked beans Use Sparingly: •Fats (1 serving size) •1 tsp oil •10 peanuts •6 almonds or cashews •Sweets •½ cup kulfi •½ cup kheer •2 small cookies •½ cup ice cream/sherbet .....................................................

CHECK OUT DIABETIC MEAL PLAN ONLINE Comments / Suggestions to dallas@myCrescent.com www.myCRESCENT.com

ADVISORS: David Lee Hall, Annie Ghazi and Lena Dirbashi. The Lone Star Crescent is published monthly by Melanz Publishing. Since 2006, the paper is serving the local Muslim community in the Metroplex. We welcome and encourage readers’ feedback and opinions. All materials, articles, photos, comments or samples submitted to the The Lone Star Crescent will become property of the publisher and may be printed at our discretion. The publisher / paper takes no responsibility of claims made by advertisers, financial, legal, family and/or educational advise in its content. Readers must check and inquire themselves. Online at www.myCRESCENT.com


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The Lone Star Crescent | August 2009 | GIRL SCOUTS DAY IN PICTURES AT IANT RICHARDSON


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The Lone Star Crescent | August 2009 | Advertisements

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214-306-7920 ads@myCRESCENT.com www.myCRESCENT.com JOB OPENING ASSISTANT IMAM/ QURAN TEACHERSan Antonio, Texas Job Description: MCECC is seeking a full time assistant Imam with Hifz ul Quran. Responsibilities: To teach the children Holy Quran with Tajweed and good pronunciation. Also, will lead the regular prayers. Qualifications/Skills Requirements: * Hifzul Quran with excellent Qirat. * Ability to speak English. * Ability to lead five daily prayers. * Ability to speak Arabic or Urdu would be a plus. * The Center offers a good paymnet package. Where to send resume: Muslim Children Education & Civic Center 5282 Casa Bella San Antonio TX 78249. Attan. Mufti Ameen Aziz Director


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The Lone Star Crescent | May 2009 | CONFRONTING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

(from page 01)


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The Lone Star Crescent | August 2009 | CAREER

For “Those Who Remain” After Downsizing By Dianne Landau Here is a familiar scenario facing all of us today - The company where you’ve worked for many years has finally succumbed to financial pressures and has started multiple rounds of layoffs. So far you’ve survived, but how can you increase your chances of remaining employed in this difficult market? Here are some valuable Tips! 1- Understand the company’s new and urgent objectives - and deliver! Some people are so committed to accomplishing their daily projects and tasks, that they neglect to see the big picture. There are objectives which will be urgent and immediate. Some questions you might ask yourself are: How important is this project right now? Does it still fall within the company’s strategic road to recovery? How can I align myself with the really important work being done? What work is my team doing that may now be unnecessary? What can you do to help the company (or department) meet it’s current objectives? Realize what those are and how they apply to your job. Make sure you’re on the critical path to the company’s success! 2 - Position yourself to fill gaps that have been created by those who’ve left the company. When good managers, leaders and other employees leave the company, there is typically a gap in the knowledge and skills of those who remain to run the operation. The company now has to function with fewer employees which means the remaining employees must fill the gap. Since some of the jobs of those let go are related to the job you do it stands to reason that you would pick up the

slack in that area. Those who rise to fill those gaps are often perceived as “up-and-comers” and have the opportunity to be quickly recognized. It’s not only important to know what to do to help, but to actually do it! 3 - Promote the value and accomplishments of your teams and yourself Here’s a myth - If I do a good job, it will be recognized and I will get promoted. Remember, it’s a myth! Of course that does happen occasionally, but most times we need to talk about and promote our successes and those of our team. There’s a great book entitled BRAG - The Art of Tooting Your Horn without Blowing IT! by Peggy Klaus. Peggy gives numerous ways (including weekly status reports) to talk about your accomplishments, without sounding obnoxious about it. Get over your shyness. Be prepared for the transition and a lot more communication. Make sure that important people hear your good news, know how well you and your team are doing and understand how committed you are to the company’s success! 4- Build relationships with leaders and decision-makers in & outside of your company. Downsizing is never easy on anyone! Be thankful that you still have a job and be willing to work closely with everyone around you, so that the company can not only survive but thrive. Remember these relationships can and will help you in the future. In fact, we can do some of our best “networking and network building” while we’re still active in the workforce! About the author: Landau Coaching Associates www.landaucoaching.com

Get Ahead With

Leadership Development Training By Bart Icles Getting ahead in the corporate world entails having to keep your skills fresh, your mind sharp, and yourself open to new ideas and concepts that can improve the way you approach business. The business world is constantly on the go and trends tend to change rapidly, and if you want to move up, you can’t let yourself be a dinosaur in a fast-paced and dynamic world. You will definitely need to develop more skills as well as hone the ones you already possess. One of the qualities that can definitely propel you forward in your career is leadership. Even if you’re not in a leadership position at the moment, you will find that leadership development training will give your personality and your career a great boost. Honing your leadership skills will ensure that you have a better grasp of handling your current team and in managing important issues at work. It also positions you as a viable candidate for future appointments further up the corporate ladder. More importantly, developing leadership skills helps you understand key matters that affect your company and give you an insight into how a good, efficient leader works. You can improve your sense of leadership by taking a leaf out of the books

of those important leaders who serve as your personal role models, and you can also take note of the actions and decisions of people in higher positions, yet make mistakes along the way. Give yourself a closer look at what it takes to be a leader as well as the characteristics one must have by reading books and attending training seminars and workshops. A solid leadership skill development training program will help you take a good look at yourself and your personality, identify what it is that needs improving, and help you address relevant topics such as communication problems, conflict management, and learning how to identify the right kind of talent to help your group or company progress. You can find leadership training workshops online or by asking your HR department if there are plans on offering these to employees. Remember to explore every possible option if you are interested in improving your career. CMOE has been providing companies with executive leadership development programs since 1978. Through leadership development training and other innovative business techniques CMOE has established themselves a leader in the business world. Visit http://www.cmoe. com for more information.


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The Lone Star Crescent | August 2009 | REAL ESTATE

TOP OFFENCES OF

SELLERS By Ravisankar Poduval Any real estate transaction is usually protected by the law, especially for the buyer, as he is investing his life time savings into the property. Sellers have been found to indulge in various offences that go against the rule of the land. Common laws are made as precedents to an earlier judgment, and take into consideration the possibility of an incident happening gain, and hence is made into a law. A few common offences that some sellers indulge in to make quick money are: 1. Sale of Stolen Property: This happens very normally and is considered to be one of the most common offences committed by property sellers. Some sellers occupy certain properties illegally, without the permission or knowledge of the actual owner. This normally happens when the owner is either out of town for long durations or if the owner has expired and the legal heirs are not aware of such a property’s existence. In such cases, the sellers not only occupy the property but also sometimes make duplicate documents. Sometimes, some sellers try to join a neighbor’s property with their own and sell it as a single property. 2. Sale of damaged property: Another offence that is normally committed by sellers is the sale of damaged property. This happens when the seller feels that the house is damaged beyond a certain point and has some internal issues that will need him to spend quite a lot of money to get it repaired. In such cases, some dishonest sellers try to mask these defects by beautifully doing up the house and covering up the issues. A beautiful house tricks the buyer into thinking that the house is free of any issues and thereby getting stuck in the deal. 3. Selling property by hiding the actual ownership: Some Sellers hide the actual ownership to reduce tax burdens or to hasten the sale. This mostly happens in case of joint ownerships, as one of the owners might want to sell the property while the other joint owner shall not be in favor of the sale. Duplication of documents and forging of signatures are the common offences resorted to in such cases. While these are considered to be some major offences, there are also smaller and pettier offences committed by sellers, which include covering up the issues that a buyer can face in the future, not stating the exact facts, hiding certain costs that can trouble the buyer later or even persuading the buyer to buy the property by force. Some sellers use deception to sell their property and this also classifies as an offence under property laws. These laws are designed to protect the buyer from fraudulent activities that may be conducted by the seller for financial gains. Homes that spell luxury at Luxury Green Valley AZ Properties (www.ArizonaLuxuryHomeGuide.com) and Fountain Hills AZ Real Estate (www.mls4az.com/1002-FountainHills-AZ-ResCity.aspx)

6 Vital Things to Do Before Listing

Your Home For Sale By Louise Scoggins If you are thinking about putting your home up for sale there are some important things you must take care of before listing it in order to ensure your success. Bearing in mind that the real estate market is in the down part of the cycle right now you must consider the best ways to be competitive and make your house stand out from the crowd so you will be able to sell it quickly and for the right price. The very first thing you will want to do before listing your home for sale is to find the right realtor. The right realtor will know exactly what things you need to do in order to attract home buyers and command a good price for your home in any market. Some of the things you will probably need to do before listing your home for sale include making any nec-

essary repairs, improving your curb appeal, staging your home, and developing a plan to keep the house clean at all times. You should also check around and see what other homes in your area are selling for so you can price your home appropriately. So, now that you know the 6 most vital things you need to do before listing your home, let’s look at some of them in a little more detail. Making necessary repairs includes major repairs such as a new roof or windows as well as minor repairs such as chipped paint or rusty hinges on your doors. Image is everything when it comes to selling your home because it is how your home makes a potential buyer feel when they see it even more than the facts and figures that will determine if someone buys your home and how much they are willing to pay. Curb appeal is vital so that a potential buyer gets a

good first impression and wants to see more. The exterior of the house should be clean, clutter free and attractive. The grass should be cut, flowers planted and weeds should not exist. Staging the home is a way of making the interior more attractive. Paint should be neutral because colors like bright red will cause a strong reaction ranging from love to hate and you need the colors to be something that everyone will like so a potential buyer isn’t turned off. Having a plan to keep the house clean at all times may mean having the kids spend more time with grandma, setting a schedule for chores or even hiring a housekeeper to come in a couple of times per week. The real estate market right now is extremely competitive which means you and your house need to be at the top of your game in order to sell. Selling a home right now and selling for a good price is very possible, but you have to play your cards right and make your house the one that everyone wants to live in. Louise Scoggins is a leading Realtor in the Atlanta Homes market. For more information on Atlanta Foreclosures, please visit ThinkLouise.com


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The Lone Star Crescent | August 2009 | ALL GONE? >> Continues from front page

>> for 20 years (though he stated his business has been operating for the past 5-6 years). But 4 years ago, something happened. Three of his biggest customers disappeared. They owed him a little over $600,000. Because these people have been business clients for years, Mr. Siddiqui continued to do business as usual in hopes that eventually, the payments will be returned. But when the money was not coming in and Mr. Siddiqui panicked. In order to avoid entangling himself in a serious Islamic prohibition with paying interest on bank loans, Mr. Siddqui sought assistance from fellow friends and community members. Dr. Inayat Lalani, a retired surgeon from the Ft. Worth area, came to the rescue on January 1, 2009. Responding to phone call and an email message sent by Mr. Siddqui, Dr. Lalani loaned him $22,000 in a form of personal check along with a promissory note dictating a return of the loan for January 22nd. “I thought I was throwing a rope to a drowning man,” Dr. Lalani said. The due date passed, and Dr. Lalani was unable to pay his property taxes due the end of January. Mohammad Rahimullah of Plano also came to the rescue; only it was 2 years earlier in 2007. His loan of 49,000, which Mr. Rahimullah had saved up for his daughter’s wedding, was never repaid despite months of assurance from Mr. Siddiqui. Ziad Al-Ramahi of Plano gave Mr. Siddiqui two loans. $50,000 was the first loan during Ramadan in 2006 and later a second loan of $176,000. According to court documentation, there is a list of 77 creditors; most of them will probably never see their money again because Mr. Siddiqui filed for bankruptcy on April 9 2009. The Bankruptcy Court lists 49 individuals whom Mr. Siddiqui collectively owes over $866,500 within the last 4-5 years. His pleading is 61 pages long. “He is a consummate con artist!” declared Dr. Lalani during the creditor’s meeting, “a forgoer, a liar, and a thief.” Mr. Siddiqui told the judge, Christopher Moser, that all he was doing was collect money for investments from those who he knew would be able to provide the required funds. “In our culture you try to avoid to pay interested,” he said, “and these were all my friends who tried to help me.” Upon hearing this, Mary Alice Garza, a co-member of MCOR also present at the meeting said she did not invest in Mr. Siddiqui’s business, rather she gave him a personal loan of $16,500. “He seemed to be a very nice fella so I gave him the check,” she told the judge. But when she went to deposit a post-dated check, the bank said his account had insufficient funds. Hussein Kedwai, a Plano business owner, finds irony in Mr. Siddiqui’s attempts to stay away from paying interest. Facing Mr. Siddiqui, Mr. Kedwai testified that when Mr. Siddiqui approached him for a loan, because of his insufficient funds in his account at the time, Mr. Kedwai gave his credit card information to Mr. Siddiqui for a $20,000 loan. That money was never returned despite a passed promissory date. Mr. Kedwai said he is still struggling to repay his credit card balance with the added interest fees. “You don’t want to pay interest but your forcing me to pay interest,” he told Mr. Siddiqui. Mohammad Masroor was still new to the Muslim community in Plano when Mr. Siddiqui approached him for a loan. Mr. Masroor did not have the funds Mr. Siddiqui wanted from him and instead –upon a second request – paid his daughter’s college tuition. “I paid directly the University $2,000 something,” he said. Mr. Siddiqui said in the meeting that the very fact that he couldn’t even pay his own daughter’s public university tuition is proof that he was not a thief, and was not banking these loans or hiding them. His lawyer, Jeffrey Hacker, said

Mr. Siddiqui didn’t even have the fees to file for bankruptcy. “A relative paid for the $300 fees and $50 for counseling,” he said. And Mr. Siddiqui has repaid some of these loans fully, including Naeem Randhawa of Plano. He partially repaid Mr. Kedwaii and Mr. Masroor as well. But even then, these men say they want answers and proof to validate the stories they consider dubious. For example, Mr. Siddiqui told Dr. Lalalani that his container with perishable foods were stuck and held by third parties overseas who demanded cash up-front for its release. So Dr. Lalalni loaned him the money and when the date arrived for repayment, Mr. Siddiqui told Dr. Lalani that couldn’t give him the money because the IRS was putting a hold on his account because of his Muslim identity. The IRS story was also given to Mr. Al Ramahi. “He said he was being held on under IRS audit showed documentation,” he said in the meeting, “and one story after the other…” Mr. Rahimullah recalled similar accounts over a time span of two years, “Two months (after the promised return date of payment) Mr. Siddiqui said the money was coming. Then he gave me a reason, that he gave them the wrong number…personal account number instead of business account number… therefore IRS got involved,” he explained in the meeting, “He gave me this story for six months. Then he said his papers went to Memphis IRS and opened another account number. Then he said his papers are coming to Dallas. One month is lost. Oh they made a mistake. The mail has been lost.” Dr. Lalani often said the banks and the post office always make mistakes with Mr. Siddiqui. A total of 23 creditors showed up at the meeting, all with similar stories with slightly different variations. One creditor arrived surprised to see so many others. Aly El-Haj, a physician from Plano, said he was impressed to see how his story so closely resembled everyone else’s. “I never heard Dr. Lalani’s story, I just heard it now and it’s like déjà vu,” he said, “same exact thing.” Another commonality among his creditors was their assurance from Mr. Siddiqui that he had back-up funds in case things went wrong. Mr. Siddiqui gave some of his creditors, like Dr. Lalalani and Mr. Rahimullah, life insurance statements worth up to 2 million dollars. He told others his house was fully paid for and that he can refinance it. Mr. Muhammad Farooqi of Plano said he was promised that Mr. Siddiqui was going to sell his property in Lahore to give him back his money. “He said he needed to sell the big piece of property,” recalled Mr. Farooqi, “Then he came back and there was nothing.” Dr. Lalani also testified at the initial hearing that when he went to Mr. Siddiqui’s business from the address on the business card, he found another company in its place. “It was a phony address,” he said, “there is no AmeriGlobe there.”

Mr. Hacker said these creditors do not have sufficient proof against his client and that any formal complaint opportunity has already passed with nobody filing anything. “They could have filed an objection to his discharge,” he said, “they had 6 months to apply and nobody has filed for proof of claim.” Though he fully received full repayment, Mr. Randhawa is fully supporting the indignation against Mr. Siddiqui. “A lot of us faced extreme financial duress so the reason why we are coming forward is not just to get our money back because this is predatory practice and we are trying to protections the general public at large,” he said, “This isn’t a Muslim problem. He is doing this in our community, outside the community - across the board.”

Even Mr. Hacker said this case was unusual. “I have seen people owning a lot of money, he said, “what is unusual about this case and overall scheme of things is that most of the debt was to individuals.” Dr. Lalani has filed for criminal action – bankruptcy fraud - against Mr. Siddiqui and several of the creditor’s are rounding up behind him. “We believe that the petitioners are not insolvent but are seeking bankruptcy relief as a ruse to abrogate their debts,” he said, “I am also in possession of copies of documents that are most likely forged that he proffered various people whom he fraudulently induced to advance his large amount of cash.”

Dr. Lalani has filed for criminal action – bankruptcy fraud - against Mr. Siddiqui and several of the creditors are rounding up behind him. Mr. Hacker said these creditors do not have sufficient proof against his client and that any formal complaint opportunity has already passed with nobody filing anything. “They could have filed an objection to his discharge,” he said, “they had 6 months to apply and nobody has filed for proof of claim.” Mr. Siddiqui did not have the opportunity to defend himself for this story as his attorney advised against it. “He will get emotional and he feels really bad and embarrassed about all of this,” Mr. Hacker said. But at the creditors meeting, Mr. Siddiqui announced, “Everyone in this room knows what kind of lifestyle we have been living in for the last 2-3 years,” he said, “if I had the stash outside somewhere I would send my kids to private schools and buy them nice cars.” The creditors present at the meeting were not convinced, though Mr. Rahimullah says not everything Mr. Siddiqui said was untrue. “After two years of experience he said one thing that was true, he told me, ‘Rahimullah you don’t know me’...so that was such a good statement,” he said, “then I could not figure out who he is!”

This story was completed in mid-July 2009. For questions or comments please send email to dallas@myCRESCENT.com. You may also submit comments online below this story at www.myCRESCENT.com. Video and audio related to the story will be available on our website on August 10, 2009.

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