An imam who made headlines for trashing a film shown at the National September 11 Memorial & Museum is facing prison time in a tax cheat scam, the Daily News has learned.
Sheik Mostafa Elazabawy, a retired NYCHA employee who also heads Masjid Manhattan, faces up to 15 years in prison for swindling at least $140,000 while working as a “tax preparer” at a Hell’s Kitchen Ethiopian restaurant in a side business, prosecutors said.
He also allegedly failed to clear the side gig with the Conflicts of Interests Board while working at the city Housing Authority.
Elazabawy, 60, did state tax returns for Queen of Sheba on Tenth Ave. under an alias between 2005 and 2009, bilking the state out of the six-figure sum, prosecutors said.
“There’s evidence that the defendant prepared the sales tax returns without any records at all although he was in the restaurant many times and had access to those records had he asked for them,” Assistant District Attorney Maurice Mathis said at the clergyman’s Feb. 5 arraignment in Manhattan Supreme Court, according to a transcript.
“It appears that he actually was making up the numbers of the sales tax returns,” Mathis added.
Queen of Sheba had allegedly been reporting less than a tenth of its sales but collecting sales tax from customers on all of the checks.
Elazabawy, of Gravesend, Brooklyn, worked at the New York City Housing Authority for 27 years before retiring as an analyst in the agency’s budget department on Jan. 31. Just days later, he was busted on second- and third-degree grand larceny charges.
He also cheated on his own taxes, raking in about $3,000 over two years, prosecutors said.
As Daniel Greenfield noted, Elazabawy is as bad as they get: Imam Who Claimed 9/11 Museum Defames Muslims says Jews are a “Cancer”
Elazabawy’s demands for interfaith sensitivity were absent during the 2008 sermon, which came during Israel’s Operation Cast Lead incursion into Gaza aimed at curbing Hamas rocket-fire toward civilian communities in Israel.
“And they use the hypocrites of the Muslims to help them, and the Muslim follow them, because they control the money, they control the weapons, they do everything.”
Jews were spreading mischief in Egypt, Sudan and Somalia, he said.
“They are cancer in everywhere, in every generation as they get in power. People turn their face, and they know they are tyrants, they know they are oppressors. They know that they kill the children of Muslim[s] all the time. But everybody permits it because they controlling the money and the position in the whole entire world.”
As Creeping Sharia noted here, tax fraud ain’t the only illegality going on at Masjid Manhattan: The other mosque at Ground Zero. Watch the video here.