The chief executive of a check-cashing company based out of the city of Orange pleaded guilty Monday to helping illegally supply combat weapons to Syrian rebels.
Rasheed Al Jijakli, 57, of Walnut pleaded guilty to violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act.
From April 2012 through March 2013, Jijakli conspired with several unnamed co-conspirators to export tactical gear such as boresighters, day-and-night vision rifle scopes, flashlights and radios, according to the plea agreement.
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Jijakli and his co-conspirators smuggled the gear into Istanbul, Turkey, where it was delivered to rebel fighters attempting to depose Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
The defendant directed one co-conspirator in August 2012 to withdraw $7,000 from his company, Palmyra Corp., to buy tactical gear for the rebels, according to the plea deal. He directed another conspirator to withdraw $10,000 in September 2012 from his company for more tactical gear for the rebels, according to the agreement.
Jijakli and his co-conspirators provided at least 43 boresighters, 85 day-rifle scopes, 30 night-vision rifle scopes, six tactical flashlights, a digital monocular, five radios and a bulletproof vest to the rebels, according to the plea agreement.
Jijakli has no criminal history and "looks forward to moving forward with his life," defense attorney Kate Corrigan said.
"He is hopeful that the (judge) will consider his background and good works," she said.
Sentencing is set for Dec. 3 at the federal courthouse in Santa Ana.