A Toledo couple pleaded guilty to conspiracy to provide material support to Hizballah.
Hor and Amera Akl admit a willingness to send money to the Lebanese terrorist group, hidden inside a 2004 Chevrolet Trailblazer they would ship overseas. In addition, Hor Akl pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering, bankruptcy fraud and perjury
The case started in August 2009, when an FBI informant asked if they would be willing to send money to Hizballah for him. The Akls agreed, requesting a commission of up to 30 percent if they moved $1 million.
In a meeting two weeks later, Akl said he understood the money was going to "terrorists" and that they understood it could be used to target Israel.
Hor Akl even traveled to Lebanon in March 2010, where he claimed to have met with a Hizballah official. The official said he could place a message in a Hizballah-controlled magazine to confirm the money arrived.
In other discussions with the informant, the Akls claimed to have moved money to Lebanon before and have high-ranking contacts within Hizballah. Amera Akl said "that she dreamed of dressing like Hizballah, carrying a gun and dying as a martyr."
The couple was arrested June 3, after the informant delivered $200,000 to them to send to Hizballah. The Akls were seen wearing latex gloves, with the cash tied in a bundle as they prepared to stash it in the Trailblazer.
Prosecutors required both Akls to plead guilty as part of the deal. If one refused, the deal for the other would have been withdrawn.
"Money is the lifeblood of terrorist organizations, and stopping the flow is a key component to choking off these organizations," said Steven Dettelbach, U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.
Sentencing guidelines indicate Hor Akl faces up to seven years in prison. Amera Akl faces about four years in prison.