By Ivan Pereira
Malcolm X’s youngest daughter was arrested by the authorities in North Carolina Friday after more than a year on the lam for allegedly stealing the identity of the wife of one her father’s closest associates and defrauding her, the Queens district attorney said.
Malikah Shabazz, 44, was awaiting extradition to New York from North Carolina and was pending arraignment on several charges, including grand larceny, identity theft and falsifying business records, Queens DA Richard Brown said.
Brown’s office put out an arrest warrant for Shabazz, who lived in South Carolina, on Oct. 16, 2009, after the 70-year-old widow of Malcolm X’s bodyguard discovered Shabazz allegedly defrauded her out of more than $55,000 between August 2006 and November 2007.
“The defendant is accused of stealing not only a substantial amount of money from a once-close family friend, but her personal identity as well,” Brown said in a statement. “The alleged theft represents a shameful betrayal of the friendship that existed between the two families.”
Malcolm X lived in East Elmhurst with his wife and four daughters in the 1960s.
Khaula Bakr, of Far Rockaway, whose husband was with the civil rights leader when he was assassinated in Harlem in 1965, received a letter from Wells Fargo bank that indicated she had a credit account that was past due in the amount of more than $28,000, Brown said.
The widow never opened such an account and ran three credit reports that listed her address as one that allegedly belonged to Shabazz, according to the DA. Two additional credit accounts, which were past due with a combined total of about $27,000, were found in Bakr’s name and Shabazz’s address, the DA said.
Further records showed that there was allegedly another credit card account for the business “All Day and All Night Markets” that listed the widow’s name and Shabazz as the authorized user, according to Brown.
The records contained a letter that was signed by Bakr and Shabazz and requested that credit cards and checks be reissued with a new account and PIN number, the DA said.
Brown said Shabazz obtained personal information from Bakr, who kept in touch with Malcolm X’s family over the years, by pretending to need the information for paperwork involving a child care power of attorney. The widow provided the information but never received any related documents from Shabazz, according to the DA.
If convicted of the charges, Shabazz faces up to seven years in prison, Brown said.
Reach reporter Ivan Pereira by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4546.