Businessman takes stand in Seth Williams trial

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Multi-millionaire takes stand in Seth Williams trial. Vernon Odom reports during Action News at 5 p.m. on June 22, 2017. (WPVI)

As Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams entered the courthouse on day four of his corruption trial, an old friend was arriving at the same time.

Mohammad Ali of Feasterville, a multi-millionaire who has pleaded guilty to bribery and tax evasion, is hoping for leniency at sentencing in return for his testimony for the government.

On the stand, Ali admitted giving Williams thousands of dollars' worth of "gifts" from 2010 to 2015 including a lavish vacation in the Dominican Republic, cash, free airline tickets, expensive dinners, high end furniture and clothing.

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Day 3 of Seth Williams' trial. Vernon Odom reports during Action News at 4 p.m. on June 21, 2017.



Williams called them gifts. The prosecution calls them bribes.

Here's what happened during the trial

Prosecutor: "Why were you giving him these gifts?

Ali: "Because it's good to know people in power, good to know if you ever need anything you can call him."

Prosecutor: "Did you ever need him?"

Ali: "Yes, I asked him to do a couple of things for me."

Those things allegedly included asking Williams to intervene in a drug case involving a Center City disc jockey. Ali said Williams told him he'd look into it.

And the Jordanian born Ali told Williams he believed he was being racially profiled at the Philadelphia International Airport in the secondary screening process.

Ali says Williams set up a meeting with Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Joe Sullivan, then head of the police department's Homeland Security Unit, and the issue they thought went away.

They, however, did not know that Ali was being eyed by federal agents for possible international money laundering.

No evidence of that was found, an agent testified Thursday morning.


Williams has maintained his innocence.
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