In 2002 I was fined $10,000 by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC, an agency within the Treasury Department) for a 1997 trip I made to Iraq to bring $40,000 in medicine to the children of Basra. I refused to pay the fine. We in turn sued OFAC in 2004 over their fine, but lost. Now I’m being sued for the fine with more than $6,000 additional in interest and penalties. The civil suit is scheduled for September 19, 2011, in federal district court in Seattle.
September 19, 2011: This date, originally set for the trial against me to collect the fine, has been vacated by Judge Richard A. Jones. He has ordered the Government to respond why the Court should not dismiss the case. The Government brief is available here and our response is available here. We are now waiting to hear his ruling from Judge Jones.
December 28, 2011: On this date, Judge Richard A. Jones issued his order to dismiss the case against me. The government considered appealing the decision, then changed their minds. The case is over. Here are two brief summaries of the ruling — including my ambivalent feelings about it — one from Bruce Ramsey, editorial writer for the Seattle Times, and another from Rosette Royale, Assistant Editor of Real Change newspaper.
The two sub-pages, Timeline and Legal Documents, under this page provide details and links.
The Timeline page provides relevant dates of my travels to Iraq; the fine on me; my refusal to pay; our suit against the government; and now the government’s law suit against me to collect the fine. This page also has links to the legal notices leading up to the fine.
The Legal documents pages provide more detail about the three levels of our law suit against the government over their fine — which also had given me legal standing to raise the issue of, and to challenge, the lethal nature of U.S. policy towards Iraq — and details of the government’s law suit against me to collect the fine which I’d refused to pay.