Hezbollah Financier Pleads Guilty in US

Hezbollah Financier Pleads Guilty in US

Friday, 7 December, 2018 - 11:00
FILE PHOTO: The U.S. Department of Justice building is seen in Washington, U.S., February 1, 2018. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
Asharq Al-Awsat
A Lebanese businessman accused of providing millions of dollars to Hezbollah pleaded guilty Thursday and admitted his role in a money laundering conspiracy in an effort to evade US sanctions, the Justice Department said.

Kassim Tajideen, 63, of Beirut, was accused of conspiring with at least five other people to conduct over $50 million in transactions with US businesses, in violation of sanctions that barred him from doing business with US people and companies because of his support for Hezbollah.

Tajideen and the five other people, whose names weren't revealed, also engaged in transactions outside the US that transmitted more than $1 billion through US financial institutions, federal prosecutors said.

Tajideen was arrested in Morocco and extradited to the United States in March 2017. He appeared Thursday in federal court in Washington, DC, and pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, in violation of a federal law known as the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.

"This Department of Justice has put a target on Hezbollah," Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker said in a statement announcing Tajideen's conviction. "We are going to keep targeting Hezbollah and other terrorist groups and their supporters, and we are going to keep winning."

As part of his plea deal, Tajideen is expected to serve five years in a US prison, prosecutors said. He is scheduled to be sentenced in January.

He was named a Specially Designated Global Terrorist in May 2009 by the Treasury Department over his links to Hezbollah.

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