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Sunrise Equities goes under

By Ayub Khan, Muslim Observer

CHICAGO,IL, Sept.10, 2008—Sunrise Equities, a Chicago based financial services firm which claimed to be Shariah compliant, has gone under leaving many area Muslims robbed of their savings. Incorporated in 2001 the firm claimed that all its services were in compliant with Islamic laws and had the endorsement of a leading religious scholar. According to latest reports coming from Chicago the management of Sunrise Equities and the affiliated Sunrise Constructions have disappeared after closing their offices. Sunrise CEO Salman Ibrahim, Vice President Amjed Mahmood, and Vice President (Community Relations) Mohammad Akbar Zahid  are untraceable.

The first indication that all is not well with the firm were first sensed two months when its checks started to bounce. Before any action could be initiated by the investors the management just locked up and disappeared along with the computers and other valuables.

“We provide our clients with personalized advice and a range of exceptional Shariah Compliant investment opportunities that provide maximum benefit even as the associated risks and ethical dimensions are rigorously controlled,” claims the company’s website. But it appears that Sunrise has been taking its clients for a ride offering them lucrative profits of twenty five to thirty percent.

Several investors have called local community radio shows telling them of their massive losses. A large number of  Chicago area investors are originally  from the Indian sub-continent, especially from the city of Hyderabad.

In the meanwhile, the Shariah Board of America which had endorsed Sunrise’s model as Shariah compliant has distanced itself from the latter. In a press release the Shariah Board states that its endorsement was limited to ‘limited to providing answers to Shariah compliance questions and reviewing documents.’

‘Shariah Board or its’ officers do not participate in the Management or Operations of any company. Shariah Board is not involved in any transactions between the companies and their clients. Like other companies, Sunrise Equities also sought answers on Shariah compliance and was provided with religious guidance. The actions of the officers of Sunrise Equities were undertaken at their sole discretion. Any attempt by individuals or organizations to link Shariah Board and its’ officers with Sunrise Equities is a case of serious defamation and will be dealt with the strongest legal response possible,’ the statement said.

The press release further states, “It is completely false that Shariah Board or its’ officers supported Sunrise Equities quid pro quo. Shariah Board categorically denies the false allegation that its’ officers received any compensation, living expenses or any other benefit for supporting Salman Ibrahim as a trustable and reliable businessman.”

In addition, the Directors of Shariah Board have unanimously removed Salman Ibrahim from their Board. They have also appealed to the officers of Sunrise to come forward and answer the investor’s questions.

The fall of Sunrise Equities should serve as a warning to the community to take a hard look before investing their life’s savings in any project.


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