Fairfax, Va., resident gets two years of jail time for concealed ties to Pakistan

A man charged with secret lobbying for the Pakistani government is heading to jail.

Syed Ghulam Nabi Fai, an American citizen and resident of Fairfax, Va., was sentenced on Friday to serve two years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release. Fai was convicted of tax violations and efforts to conceal his advocacy on behalf of Pakistan.

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Fai was the director of the Kashmiri American Council (KAC), a Washington advocacy and think tank group that pushed for Kashmiris’ self-determination. The Justice Department alleged that the group was secretly funded by Pakistan’s spy agency, the Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate (ISI), and that Fai received at least $3.5 million from the Pakistani government.

“Mr. Fai spent 20 years operating the Kashmiri American Council as a front for Pakistani intelligence,” said U.S. Attorney Neil MacBride in a statement. “He lied to the Justice Department, the IRS and many political leaders throughout the United States as he pushed the ISI’s propaganda on Kashmir.”

During the investigation, Fai denied several times that he was a foreign agent for Pakistan in interviews with FBI agents and in a letter to the Justice Department. Fai should have registered under the Foreign Agents Registration Act because he was receiving payments from the Pakistani government, according to federal authorities.

“Mr. Fai had a duty to inform the U.S. government of the finances which he received from Pakistan to fund lobbying efforts,” said James McJunkin, the FBI assistant director in charge of the FBI Washington Field Office, in a statement. “Concealed foreign affiliations can be a significant threat to our democracy, and those who engage in hiding these associations will be brought to justice.”

Fai pled guilty in December last year to the charges.

Fai was first charged by the Justice Department in July 2011 along with Zaheer Ahmad. Ahmad, who was living in Pakistan at the time, is believed to be dead, according to several press reports.