- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 4, 2013

He’s long since left the country, but if former Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood’s son Sam ever heads back to Egypt, he might need a get-out-of-jail card. An Egyptian court on Tuesday sentenced him — along with 15 other Americans — to prison time for using foreign funds to stir up unrest in the nation.

Most were sentenced to five years in prison, the court ruled. All but one have left the country. The lone remaining American to be convicted of the charge is Robert Becker, who refused on principle to leave — and he was sentenced to two years, The Associated Press reported. He tweeted shortly after his conviction that he was reviewing “legal/appeals options” with his attorneys.

The sentences were part of an Egyptian crackdown on nonprofits in the nation. A total of 43 people from a variety of nations — 16 from the United Sttes — who worked for nonprofits were found guilty of using money to drum up government unrest during the Tuesday court hearing. Other defendants hailed from Serbia, Palestinian territories and Lebanon, to name a few, AP said.

The defendants were all ordered to pay fines of about $143 each, AP reported. And the judge also ordered the closure of several offices and the seizure of documents and assets owned by various U.S. nonprofit groups in the country, AP reported.

Of the 43 who were sentenced, 27 were given five-year prison terms, five got two years, and 11 received suspended one-year sentences. The 11 who received suspended sentences were all Egyptians, AP reported.