CHICAGO -- As the man who bilked him and hundreds of others out of millions of dollars stood before a federal judge Monday to plead guilty, Nadeem Sharafi turned to another victim who had come to the court hearing.
Sharafi shook the man's hand forcefully, a smile spreading over his face.
But with two co-defendants still on the run and so much money gone, Amjed Mahmood's guilty plea provided limited relief for Sharafi and other victims.
"When you've lost your life savings and you see him walking around, that doesn't feel really right," said Gazi Alam, who said he lost $260,000 in a scam allegedly organized by Mahmood, who remains free on bail.
The Ponzi scheme stunned Chicago's Islamic community. Prosecutors say Mahmood, Salman Ibrahim and Mohammad Zahid preyed on Muslims by telling them their investments followed Islamic law that puts restrictions on certain investments.