The New York Daily News reports Sharif El-Gamal, the developer of the Cordoba Mosque has had 7 run ins with the law and money difficulties: Years before his latest real-estate project ignited an uproar, Sharif El-Gamal racked up at least seven run-ins with the law, including a bust for patronizing a prostitute.
"I regret many things that I did in my youth. I have not always led a perfect life," El-Gamal, 37, said in a statement to the Daily News.
His most recent arrest was for a Sept. 10, 2005, assault on a barber who sublet a Manhattan apartment from El-Gamal's brother, Sammy.
The brothers and another man went to the apartment that afternoon to retrieve back rent from Mark Vassiliev, criminal and civil court records show.
El-Gamal allegedly cursed at Vassiliev, called him the Arabic curse word "sharmouta" and punched him in the face, breaking his nose and cheekbones.
When he was arrested, El-Gamal denied he socked Vassiliev, but conceded, "[Vassiliev's] face could have run into my hand," court papers say.