Kentucky Imam pleads guilty in kidnapping, money laundering plot

LEXINGTON, Ky. (AP) — A Kentucky Islamic leader accused of involvement in a murder for hire plot pleaded guilty Monday to some of the charges against him. Court records obtained by the Lexington Herald-Leader show Mahmoud Shaker Shalash entered guilty pleas in federal court to conspiring to kidnap someone and two counts of money laundering. The Islamic Center of Lexington’s former imam was accused in May 2019 of trying to hire a hit man to kill a person who owed him money, but that count was dismissed as part of the plea agreement. While Shalash could’ve faced life in prison, the plea agreement recommends he serve just over four years and pay $20,000.