Woman Pleads Guilty To Conspiring To Sell Arms To Syria
WASHINGTON (AP) _ A New Jersey woman pleaded guilty Friday to conspiring to sell military equipment to Syria and agreed to identify other members of the alleged arms ring that may include Syrian officials.
Rosemary Loughery, 42, of Mount Holly, N.J., agreed to cooperate in the prosecution of her former partner, Philadelphia businessman Kevin Gilday. She also agreed to identify others in the conspiracy.
These may include high Syrian government officials who ordered sophisticated electronic air navigation equipment, according to the indictment against Gilday and Loughery returned earlier this year.
Ms. Loughery faces a maximum five-year sentence and a possible $250,000 fine for pleading guilty to conspiracy to violate the Arms Export Control Act. U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson scheduled sentencing for Sept. 11.
The 10-count indictment charged that Gilday had extensive dealings with two undercover U.S. Customs agents posing as arms dealers.
During their discussions between March 1986 and November 1986, Gilday talked about selling a variety of high-technology military equipment to Syria, Libya and Soviet bloc nations, the indictment said.
The discussions included the sale of F-4, F-5 and F-14 aircraft, tanks, helicopters and missiles to Iran, according to a statement of facts filed by prosecutors Friday.
Gilday told the agents his partner in the Middle East was a high government official in Syria, according to the statement. He told the agents that Ms. Loughery had been his partner since 1984 and was knowledgable about his Syrian contacts.
Gilday invited the agents to accompany him to Damascus and offered to help them do business with terrorist Abu Nidal’s followers and the Palestine Liberation Organization, the statement said.
Gilday said his local contact was Souha Jamali, the third secretary of the Syrian Embassy here. She has since left the country.
The Syrian government has denied involvement.
Prosecutors agreed to dismiss nine mail and wife fraud counts in the indictent against Ms. Loughery in return for her cooperation.
They also agreed not to refer the case to the criminal tax fraud section of the Justice Department.
The indictment charges that Gilday prepared phony documents to disguise the ultimate destination of the radio navigation equipment, which is made for the Army by Gould Inc.
The documents would be used to obtain export licenses, which are required to ship military equipment to foreign nations. The equipment, however, was never delivered.
Syria is on a list of nations prohibited from purchasing military equipment from the United States.
Gilday, who is scheduled to goto trial Nov. 30, also faces charges of mail and wire fraud in connection with the alleged conspiracy.