Help us approve my Father's early release from his Draconian Prison Sentence

Help us approve my Father's early release from his Draconian Prison Sentence

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Laith Abdel-Rahman started this petition to Department of Justice


My father's name is Samih Abdel-Rahman. He is from Tampa, Florida, and has lived there for over 30 years. He used to run a small car dealership until he was indicted for money laundering along with my mother. The Federal Government offered him a plea deal for which if he accepted, my mother would be freed. They already admitted my mother was not their target, which shows how they used her to coerce him into the deal.

My father's attorney at the time gave him improper legal counsel, saying if my father took the deal then he would be sentenced to 5 years in prison. Little did we know, our attorney knew the plea deal does not say this. Furthermore, the attorney continued to lie, noting that my father's release date will be in 3.5 years with good behavior. With my dad put against the wall with my mother under threat of prison time, he took the seemingly good deal...

Fast forward a year, and we reach sentencing. Judge Elizabeth Covington sentenced my father to 18 years in prison. This was more than triple the amount stated by our attorney, who swore by his legal advice. In fact, on the day of sentencing our attorney was sweating profusely and multiple times he walked out of the courtroom out of nervousness. Our legal ignorance at the time prevented us from calling on the court to grant us a motion to change counsel on grounds that he seemed mentally unfit to continue on with the hearing. That day, I could only think about how our attorney knowingly set up my dad into signing a blank check for the Feds to sentence my dad with. And how powerless we were to change my father's fate.

The attorney set us up. As to why and how? We do not know.

So my father went to prison, and he has been there for 86 months to this day.

We tried numerous times to appeal, however, the plea deal also noted my father has waived his right to appeal on essentially all grounds.

In other words, my father can not challenge his case.

What we are doing now

We are currently in the process of helping my father attain compassionate release from the Bureau of Prisons, a subsidiary of the Department of Justice that handles our country's prison system. This compassionate release is for prisoners who are at risk of being seriously ill with COVID-19. My father is obese and has hypertension, which puts him at high risk according to CDC guidelines.

I do not want my father to possibly put his life in danger, serving time in a sentence that was unjust in the first place.

A part of granting compassionate release is to show that the Tampa community will welcome my father into society, and they do not deem him as a threat.

My father is not a threat to society

He has no history of violent crimes, this is his only crime and it is a non-violent white-collar crime. He was a big part of the Muslim community in Tampa, and many people knew him as a person that they could rely on if they needed help.

Contrary to the image the Government portrayed him as some sort of "Al Capone of money laundering" (not exaggerating), he actually sold many cars to low-income individuals within the Black and Hispanic community. In some of these cases, he did his best to try and help out financially indigent folks by establishing payment plans directly with them for 0% interest, to help them bypass high-interest bank loans. 

Now he seeks to rid himself of that past, and focus on his renewed faith in Islam. He wants to help bring the Muslim community together in order to help out Muslim brothers and sisters in the prison system. If he were to be released, he would return to prison as a man of faith to help out the needy. 

This man is not a threat to society. As his son who has stood by him the past years, seeing how hard he has worked to give me the best life as an Arab living in the United States, I can attest to his character.

If you sign this petition, you agree that he should be released, given the opportunity to re-enter society and accept that he has not a threat to the community. This would help us immensely in our fight to get my father released.

Thank you, and we appreciate your support.


"We the people respectfully ask the court to relieve Mr. Rahman of this draconian sentence and give him the opportunity to re-enter society safely."

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