Two Sentenced For Money Laundering In $32 Million Plot To Sell Weapons
by John Pacenti
The Palm Beach Post
January 12, 2002
There was the con man who bilked millions. The high-flying Wall Street guru whose specialities included money laundering. And an Egyptian implicated in brokering arms deals to possible terrorists.
Then there was Walter Kapij. A Wethersfield, Conn., airplane broker with the mentally ill wife. Kapij was brought in at the last second to fly some cash from supposedly illegal arms deals overseas. Guess who got the longest sentence?
Kapij was sentenced to 33 months in prison on Friday, almost double the 18 months given to his main codefendant, one-time Wall Street financier Kevin Ingram. Admitted arms broker Diaa Badr Mohsen was sentenced Friday to 27 months for the money laundering end of a 30-month sting into a $32 million plot to export arms illegally.
In the meantime, former Boca Raton jeweler Randy Glass - implicated in defrauding jewelry and diamond wholesalers of $6 million - started serving a seven-month sentence in August for working as a confidential informant in the arms case and numerous other investigations.
"The case is the clearest example of how unjust and ridiculous the federal criminal justice system is," Kapij's attorney James Eisenberg said.
Kapij and Ingram pleaded guilty to laundering $2.2 million but Ingram got his sentence reduced to 18 months for cooperating in other cases. Ingram also paid $205,000 in fines and forfeits.
Kapij didn't have any information to sell or money to give, his attorney said.
Eisenberg asked U.S. District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks to go below sentencing guidelines because of Kapij's wife's mental illness.
Middlebrooks said no dice.
Mohsen, a former Egyptian Olympian, pleaded guilty in November to conspiring to launder $350,000 in arms sales money. He cooperated with the government in its post-Sept. 11 investigation into individuals with terrorist ties.
Mohsen has also pleaded guilty - along with Jersey City, N.J., resident Mohammed "Mike" Malik - in the arms part of the case as well. The duo acted as middle men to sell Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and other weapons.
Both were arrested on June 12 at a West Palm Beach warehouse inspecting a Stinger and a M-16. Ingram and Kapij were arrested the same day in Fort Lauderdale.
The Republic of Congo, Pakistan and even Afghanistan under the Taliban have been mentioned as countries trying to buy weapons during the probe.
Mohsen and Malik, a Pakistani, are scheduled to be sentenced in February for the arms dealing. Mohsen should face between 30 and 37 months in prison, his attorney said.
Mohsen also might ask the government for a further reduction in his sentence based on his role in helping the government fight terrorism, his attorney Val Rodriguez said.
It was Mohsen who brought in Alfonso Pimentel, who has been indicted on passport fraud in the case.
Mohsen and Malik have long claimed they were set up by Glass.
"This guy Randy Glass is a nasty bad guy," Rodriguez said. "Randy Glass created these crimes."
But to get a reduction in his sentence, Rodriguez said his client had no choice but to snitch.
Copyright 2002 Palm Beach Newspapers, Inc.
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