Albert Hakim, the businessman who controlled the proceeds from the Reagan administration's arms sales to Iran, has agreed to return an unspecified amount of money to the U.S. government, Iran-Contra prosecutors said Wednesday.
Hakim, who pleaded guilty Nov. 21 to supplementing Oliver North's income, faces sentencing Thursday before U.S. District Court Judge Gerhard Gesell.The Justice Department approved an agreement this week 'for the return to the United States of certain funds' by Hakim, the office of independent counsel Lawrence Walsh said in court papers.
The Swiss government has frozen some $7.8 million held in accounts of the ``Enterprise,' the network of companies Hakim and business partner Richard Secord set up to handle money in the Iran-Contra affair.
The court papers did not specify how much money would be returned.
On Monday, Iran-Contra prosecutors said in a sentencing memo that Hakim has agreed to provide them with testimony in ``an anticipated future case' that pertains to a grand jury investigation being conducted outside Washington.
The question of who owns the proceeds from the Iran-Contra affair has lingered since the scandal erupted in November 1986.
In the secret Iran initiative, the U.S. government was paid the cost of the weapons it sold to the Iranians. But the ``Enterprise' charged Iran exorbitant prices for the arms, with the difference being kept in the accounts controlled by Hakim.
Several million dollars were diverted to the Contras fighting the leftist government of Nicaragua. Other money was set aside for profits for Hakim, Secord and arms dealer Thomas Clines, congressional investigators found. Some of the money also was supposed to be funneled to other covert U.S. programs, North has testified.
Iran-Contra prosecutors said that one of Hakim's companies, Lake Resources, ``unlawfully converted for its own use profits of approximately $11.4 million.' A lawyer for the firm, John Hume, denied that.
Lake Resources pleaded guilty to a charge of theft of government property in the diversion of Iran arms sales profits to the Contras and also faces sentencing before Gesell.