CLEVELAND—Hor I. Akl , photo center above,was sentenced to more than six years in prison today after previously pleading guilty to criminal charges related to a scheme to send hundreds of thousands of dollars to Hezbollah, a designated foreign terrorist organization, announced Steven M. Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio; and Stephen D. Anthony, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Cleveland Division.
Akl, 39, of Toledo, Ohio, pleaded guilty to a total of five counts: conspiracy to provide material support and resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization, conspiracy to violate money laundering statutes, perjury, and two counts of bankruptcy fraud. He was sentenced to 75 months in prison by U.S. District Judge James G. Carr, to be followed by 10 years of supervised release.
Hor Akl’s wife, Amera Akl, 39, is currently serving a 40-month prison sentence. She previously pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to provide material support and resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization. “Money is the lifeblood of terrorist organizations, and stopping the flow is a key component to choking off these organizations,” said U.S. Attorney Dettelbach. THE CARS ARE THE CASH BABY!
HOR AKL proposed transporting funds to Hezbollah by purchasing used cars in the USA then shipping and selling the cars in Lebanon for profit, "TRADE BASED MONEY LAUNDERING FOR PROFIT". HOR AKL also proposed purchasing 15 to 20 pickup tucks in the USA, then shipped and resold in Lebanon as a method of transferring funds.
“This case demonstrates the continued effort by the FBI and our Joint Terrorism Task Forces to deny financing and support to those terrorist organizations that present a threat to the United States,” said Special Agent in Charge Anthony. The Akls met multiple times between August 2009 and June 2010 with a confidential source who was working on behalf of the FBI. During those meetings, the Akls discussed ways to secretly send money to Hezbollah leaders in Lebanon, according to court documents.
Amera Akl told the confidential source during a meeting in Toledo on August 30, 2009 that she dreamed of dressing like Hezbollah, carrying a gun, and dying as a martyr, according to court documents. Hor Akl, in the presence of his wife, told the confidential source during a September 10, 2009 meeting in Toledo that he understood the money was being transported to “terrorists.”
He also stated he understood the funds would be sent to a designated terrorist organization and used to target Israel, according to court documents. Eventually, the Akls agreed to send the money by secreting it inside a 2004 Chevrolet Trailblazer, which they planned to send to Lebanon via a container ship.
Here is a timeline of the terrorism-related offenses alleged in the FBI's affidavit in 2010. The information was provided to the FBI by a person identified as “Source-1.”;
• Aug. 30 — Amera Akl stated she could personally transport money to Hezbollah in Lebanon.
• Sept. 2 — Hor Akl said his wife had talked to him about transporting money and that he had previously carried funds from the United States to Lebanon. He offered to transport more.
• Sept. 3 — Hor Akl said there were many options for transporting money to Lebanon, including through the purchase and sale of vehicles and electric generators.
• Sept. 10 — Hor Akl said he understood that the transported funds would go to “terrorists” targeting Israel.
• Dec. 7 — Hor Akl said he was ready to proceed with the plan to transport funds to Hezbollah.
• Dec. 16 — Hor Akl reviewed methods of smuggling funds to Lebanon, including shipping vehicles and using an offshore account.
• March 1 — Hor Akl leaves for Lebanon from Detroit Metro Airport.
• March 3 — Amera Akl said she had spoken to her husband in Lebanon and he would be meeting with a high-level Hezbollah official.
• March 10 — Hor Akl arrives at Detroit Metro and makes false statements to customs officials about the nature of his trip and the source of his funds to pay for it.
• May 24 — Hor Akl demonstrates how he could conceal $60,000 in each of the sidestep rails on a Chevy Trailblazer.
• June 3 — “Source-1” enters the Akl residence with $200,000 provided by the FBI. Agents find the couple in their home wearing latex gloves and in possession of the money and automotive accessories, plastic wrap, and duct tape. They are allegedly preparing to hide the cash in the car accessories.
Bill Warner Private Investigator Sarasota Fl at http://www.wbipi.com/