Robert Amsterdam says investigation shows schools are conning US taxpayers
A leading international lawyer has presented a series of allegations against the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) and its operations in the U.S.
Robert Amsterdam outlined the operation of FETO charter schools in the U.S. ahead of the release of his book Empire of Deceit: An Investigation of the Gulen Charter School Network.
“The book is not about who or what the Gulen organization is in Turkey,” the lawyer, whose London- and Washington-based firm, Amsterdam & Partners, has worked major cases across the world, told journalists.
“It is not about what they are doing in Africa. We are talking about a massive corporate raid on the [U.S.] taxpayers with respect to an organization that is engaged in systemic violations of the U.S. law.”
FETO, led by Pennsylvania-based Fetullah Gulen, is said to have orchestrated last year’s defeated coup in Turkey and to be behind a long-standing conspiracy to overthrow the Turkish government by infiltrating its supporters into state agencies, particularly the military, police and judiciary.
Turkey has called for the extradition of Gulen. He denies involvement in the failed July 15 coup, which led to the deaths of 250 people.
In the U.S., FETO operates a network of around 140 charter schools across dozens of states.
According to U.S. broadcaster CBS, the schools are being investigated by the FBI over the alleged skimming of taxpayers’ money to fund the group.
Amsterdam's law firm has been retained by the Turkish government since at least December 2015 to investigate FETO’s global operations, which include hundreds of educational institutes and businesses.
“I want to make something else very clear,” Amsterdam said. “This is not a political activity. Our work with respect to the Gulen organization has been as lawyers and investigators to determine exactly what behavior the Gulen organization has engaged in.”
The book is of significant importance to Americans, he added, because it also reveals the systematic abuse of the children with developmental handicaps, the use of unqualified teachers and the recruiting of American students into FETO.
Amsterdam said his firm had uncovered attempts by FETO to develop ties to the U.S. military. Some charter schools are located around U.S. military bases, he added.
The book also demonstrated that the schools are connected to a web of management, real estate and supply companies in a “closed loop system”.
Empire of Deceit: An Investigation of the Gulen Charter School Network is due to be published on Sept. 13.