Several Yemeni expats in the Detroit area who plead guilty to having illegally transferred millions of dollars into their war-torn homeland will not go to jail – after the judge, according to a Sunday report, stresses the need for "compassion
One by one, US District Judge Avern Cohn refused to send her to jail, even though the men had not registered their activities as money transfer companies. If not, this can usually take up to five years.
Regarding his recent decisions, Cohn found that Yemen's financial system was in ruins and that people in the country needed help.
"Only people without compassion" would object to the light sentences, said Cohn, 95, to The Associated Press. "When I've been here for a while, I've found that the rules are flexible – at least for me."
In the Detroit area, there is the highest concentration of Yemenis, a population that developed during the war in Yemen, which has killed tens of thousands of people and provided millions of people with inadequate nutrition and health care.
The World Bank estimates that Yemenis received at least $ 3.3 billion in 2018 – a conservative figure, according to some estimates.
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Since 2018, federal prosecutors in Detroit have charged nine people with money transfers to Yemen. Bank accounts were opened on behalf of Shell companies and then used to deposit and transfer approximately $ 90 million over a seven-year period.
All nine men pleaded guilty not to register money transfer companies or to have misrepresented agents.
Cohn, who has been a judge since 1979, described conditions in Yemen as "horrible," noting that sending men to prison in conservative Muslim families, where women often do not work outside the home, could cause trouble.  It is unfair to "discard the traditions and practices of your homeland," Cohn told one of the men.
I had no evidence that the program was more than sending money to relatives and possibly avoiding taxes, but they considered convictions within the guidelines to be appropriate.
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Judges Don You do not have to adhere to the conviction guidelines, and Cohn refused to serve prison sentences.
He deployed six men for the supervised release. Three more were waiting for the conviction.
The Associated Press has contributed to this report.