Judge sets bail at nearly $5.5 million for members of Oakland’s Black Muslim Temple
By Thomas Peele and Matt O’Brien, Bay Area News Group
HAYWARD — A judge on Thursday set a combined bail of nearly $5.5 million for seven people charged in a massive fraud scheme allegedly run out of a Black Muslim temple in Oakland.
There were audible gasps in Judge Scott Patton’s courtroom as he set bail for Rory Parker, 63, who claimed to be president of a private security company at the heart of the alleged scheme, at $1,035,000. Parker, visible by video from the Santa Rita Jail in Dublin, appeared not to react physically. Patton then set the bail of Parker’s son and the Black Muslim Temple’s minister, Dahood Sharieff Bey, 42, at $950,000.
When he was finished with setting the bail, the defendants’ combined bail stood at $5,464,000 for 43 felonies and one misdemeanor. The defendants did not enter pleas Thursday. Six of them asked to be represented by the Alameda County Public Defenders Office, or court-appointed lawyers. Bey, a former follower of the defunct Your Black Muslim Bakery and disciple of its late leader, Yusuf Bey, did not appear because of an undisclosed medical issue.
In a 118-page criminal complaint, the chief investigator on the case wrote that he believed each defendant had no legitimate income and asked that a hold be placed on any attempt by them to bail out of jail.
“Assets or income from illegal activity will be the direct or indirect source of” any bail or bail bonds, District Attorney’s Inspector Patrick Johnson wrote. “The defendant(s) file no taxes and appear to have no legitimate income.”
Prosecutors assigned to the case declined to comment after the brief hearing.
Bey, Parker, and five others are accused of swindling government agencies across California and running a wide-ranging organized crime ring from their temple on Oakland’s 27th Street, where a large photo of the late Black Muslim leader Elijah Muhammad is taped to a window with the words “leave my teaching as it is.”
They were all arrested in Tuesday raids in Oakland and Contra Costa County, months after an investigation by this newspaper found that bid documents submitted to the Port of Oakland for more than $1 million in security guard work contained fabricated claims.
In addition to Parker and Dahood Bey, Patton set bail for the five other defendants at $537,000 for Basheer Muhammad, 62; $538,000 for Ira Barnard Dickinson, 53; $771,000 for Qadirah Najeebah Bey, 39; $946,000 for Jameelah Aasma Muhammad Bey, 39; and $687,000 for Billie Latrice Poindexter, 33.
BMT International Security Services boasted employing former Navy Seals and Secret Service agents as guards and said it was run by a Harvard-educated, retired FBI agent named David Johnson who had also been a “military marshal” and had finance experience.
According to the charges, that person was actually Dahood Bey, whose criminal past includes other fraud charges and a well-publicized torture case in 2010 for which he eventually pleaded guilty to lesser charges after a jury failed to reach a verdict. At one point, the state Department of Motor Vehicles found that Bey had applied for more than 20 different driver licenses using various names and photographs, according to court records.
Patton said the defendants would again appear before him Friday morning via video to sort out who will be their lawyers. It is unclear when they will enter pleas in the case.
Follow the reporters on Twitter @thomas_peele and @mattoyeah