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Ohio couple pleads guilty in terror funding case

•  State Bar News     updated  2011/05/21 08:47


An Ohio husband and wife pleaded guilty Monday to charges that they plotted to help finance a Mideast terrorist group under a deal that spares them from potential life sentences.

Hor and Amera Akl were arrested in June 2010 after authorities said an FBI informant provided them with cash that they were planning to hide in a vehicle to be shipped to Lebanon. They intended to conceal up to $1 million for Hezbollah, the Lebanese group the U.S. government lists as a terrorist organization and blames for numerous attacks on Israel, federal prosecutors said.

The Akls, dual citizens of the United States and Lebanon, had previously pleaded not guilty to several counts carrying the possibility of life prison terms, prosecutors said. They pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge James Carr in Toledo to conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.

Hor Akl now faces a sentence of a little more than seven years in prison, while his wife could receive up to four years. They remained free on bail after their pleas, and it was not immediately clear when they would be sentenced.

Prosecutors said Hor Akl traveled to Lebanon in March 2010 to arrange the delivery of money. He returned to the United States claiming that he had met with Hezbollah officials, the government's said.


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