Dr. Yazeed Essa
Essa Siblings: Let's Make A Deal
It was revealed in the course of the investigation that Firas Essa and his sister, Runa Ighneim, had had a substantial hand in helping their brother escape. Firas had purchased the plane ticket to Beirut and bought pre-paid cell phones to communicate with each other. His sister, in addition to lying in court, had mailed Essa an FBI fingerprint card so he could obscure his identity.
Both had sent money orders to their brotheraccording to The Plain Dealer, as much as $2.4 million had been transferred from their satellite dish businesses in 2005 and 2006.
Eventually, their potential sentences (up to 11 years for Firas and six months for Ighneim) were greatly reduced: Firas received five years probation, a $25,000 fine and house arrest, while his sister received one year probation, 90 days of house arrest, and a $2,000 fine.
But at the trial, the prosecution got more than they bargained for when Firas testified about his brother's guilt, and his misbehavior.