Ohio couple pleads guilty to funding Hezbollah

Report: Married couple with dual Lebanese, US citizenship admits they planned to provide terrorist group with up to $1 million.

By JPOST.COM STAFF
May 24, 2011 09:11
1 minute read.
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Hor and Amera Akl, a married couple from the US, pleaded guilty pleaded guilty on Monday to planning to courier money to Hezbollah, The Associated Press reported.

The couple had been planning to send up to $1 million to the US-classified terrorist organization during the course of the year, federal prosecutors said.

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The plea deal in Toledo was was meant to save Hor and Amera Akl, parents of three children and dual American and Lebanese citizens, from life sentences.

An FBI agent reportedly gave the couple their first $200,000 shipment that was to be hidden in an SUV ahead of their arrests last June, AP reported the US government as saying.

Hor Akl had traveled to Lebanon in 2010 to arrange the money’s transport, and when he returned said he had met with Hezbollah officials.

The Akls, who were expected to earn $200,000 in fees to ship the funds, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to provide material to a foreign terrorist organization, and Hor pleaded guilty to money-laundering, bankruptcy fraud and perjury as well.

In return, prosecutors dropped an arson charge against both that would have landed them a mandatory 10-year sentence, and a money-laundering charge against Amera Akl.

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The couple could have faced 30-year sentences if they had been convicted of all charges.

Instead, Hor Akl faces seven years in prison while Amera faces up to four.

Amera Akl is set to be sentenced on June 20, while a sentencing date has yet to set for her husband, AP said. They remained free on bail after their pleas.

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