Jury Finds United States Can Seize Iran-linked Office Tower

June 29, 2017


Brendan Pierson



A New York jury found that the U.S. government can seize a Manhattan office building perhaps worth nearly $1 billion from the Alavi Foundation because the property was involved in money laundering. In 1989, the Alavi Foundation entered into a partnership with Iran's Bank Melli, in which the Bank took on a minority share of the building through a subsidiary, Assa Corp. U.S. lawyers argued that Alavi knowingly distributed rental income to Assa Corp after 1995, in violation of U.S. sanctions enacted that year.