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Friday, February 23, 2007

Everett man who faked hate crime convicted of arson

A Pakistani immigrant accused of burning down his grocery store in Everett and trying to make it look like a hate crime has been convicted of arson.

Mizra Akram, 40, could face as much as five years in prison for the crime. U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman convicted him Wednesday.

Akram owned Continental Spices, a Pakistani and Middle Eastern grocery. Prosecutors said he recruited an acquaintance, Naveed Khan, to help set the July 2004 fire after the store's finances worsened.

The government alleged that the two tried to remove attention from themselves by spray-painting anti-Muslim graffiti around the store. Khan previously pleaded guilty to arson and testified against Akram. [Link]

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