A U.S. married couple has pleaded guilty to plotting to ship funds to the Hizbullah terrorist organization in Lebanon.
The pair, who are Lebanese nationals and naturalized citizens of the United States living in Ohio, were arrested last June, according to the Associated Press.
The two, Hor and Amera Akl, were spared potential life terms in prison due to a plea bargain with federal prosecutors, and remained free on bail until sentencing.
The plan to send up to $1 million to the terrorist group became known after an FBI informant provided the couple with $200,000 for the first payment. The funds were to be sent in an SUV that was to be shipped to Lebanon.
According to the court documents, Hor Akl traveled to Lebanon in March 2010 to arrange the money transfer and said he had met with Hizbullah officials.
They both agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization. In addition, Hor Akl pleaded guilty to money laundering, bankruptcy fraud and perjury.
In return, prosecutors dropped a money laundering charge against Amera Akl, and dropped a charge of arson against both Akls – which carries a mandatory 10-year prison sentence.
At present, Hor Akl faces a sentence of slightly more than seven years in prison. His wife Amera could serve up to four years. The two might have had to serve 30 years to life in prison, had they been convicted on all charges.
Sentencing for Amera Akl is set for June 20, and a date for her husband's case has not yet been decided. They have three children.