‘Web of Influence’ examines the secretive lobbying and influence operations and issues demand for accountability, enforcement, and enhanced oversight
ISTANBUL, July 7, 2022 – Today the law firm of Amsterdam & Partners LLP is launching a new book titled, “Web of Influence: Empire of Deceit Series, Book II,” which presents a highly detailed investigation into the abuses and legal violations taking place across hundreds of US public charter schools linked to the controversial Turkish imam Fethullah Gülen.
The book, which is the narrative sequel to the 2017 release of “Empire of Deceit,” is an exposé of the continuing patterns of misconduct taking place at these charter schools, with a particular focus on the lobbying and influence operations of the Gülen-linked cultural organizations and educational management organizations (EMOs) which have been at the center of efforts to skirt accountability and dodge enforcement efforts.
“Over the past decade, the Gülen-linked schools have deployed sophisticated scams to extract more than $1 billion in proceeds from US public education to fund their global agenda,” said Robert Amsterdam, founding partner of Amsterdam & Partners LLP and author of the book. “This unchecked predatory activity represents not only a threat to the national security interests of Turkey, but also causes extraordinary harm to US taxpayers and school children.”
Although there have been numerous FBI raids on the schools in recent years, damning audits, and even guilty pleas, the Gülen schools have faced only the most lenient consequences, the book argues.
“This nefarious group has been successful at burrowing into the local and state power structures to minimize oversight,” said Amsterdam, pointing to the group’s close relationship with recently indicted former Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan, the employment of Kemal Oksuz’s son by Rep. Henry Cuellar, their ties to former Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson, and the lobbying activity of their unregistered celebrity mouthpiece, former NBA player Enes Kanter.
The release of Web of Influence comes just a week after the Biden Administration released new rules for the federal Charter School Program which expressly forbids these grants from funding schools using for-profit education management organizations (EMOs), a move celebrated by public education advocates.
“EMOs are the lifeblood of the Gülen charter scams, so these new regulations represents a very positive step forward – but there is still much work to be done by US authorities to curb the abuses of this group,” said Amsterdam.
Web of Influence is available as a free e-book at empireofdeceit.com, and hardcopies can be ordered from Amazon.com at cost. Amsterdam & Partners LLP is engaged on behalf of the Republic of Turkey to investigate issues surrounding the Fethullah Gülen network. More information is available at the Department of Justice.