BY BUDDY NEVINS
A former sheriff’s candidate who fled the country after being charged with thousands of dollars in campaign fraud has surfaced in Lithuania.
In a letter dated August 1, Shahrukh ”Shak” Dhanji wrote to his former campaign supporters that Lithuania “has recognized the investigation against me was politically motivated…Therefore, the Republic of Lithuania has granted me Protection from the unfair trial that would occur under current conditions should I return to the United States.”
A warrant for Dhanji’s arrest was issued in February 2009 charging that he illegally gave thousands of dollars to employees, associates and friends and instructed them to write checks to the “Shak for Sheriff” 2008 campaign bank account.
He was charged with official misconduct, violating the limits of campaign contributions and falsifying public records.
Even before the arrest warrant was issued, the Coconut Creek businessman disappeared.
His letter from Lithuania was the first many supporters had heard of him.
Dhanji was one of four Democratic candidates for sheriff in the August 2008 primary. Scott Israel won the nomination, later losing the general 2008 election to Al Lamberti, a Republican.
Israel came back and beat Lamberti in 2012.
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