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US Collects $7 Million in Iranian Assets for Victims of Terrorism Fund

US Collects $7 Million in Iranian Assets for Victims of Terrorism Fund

Wednesday, 6 January, 2021 - 09:15
A money changer displays US and Iranian banknotes at the Grand Bazaar in central Tehran on October 7, 2015 [File: Raheb Homavandi/TIMA via Reuters]

The US government collected $7 million in Iranian assets for victims of state-sponsored terrorism, the Justice Department said on Tuesday.

The money was the US share of a civil forfeiture that targeted attempts to violate sanctions on Iran with fraudulent transfers of about $1 billion of Iranian-owned funds to accounts around the world, it said in a statement.

“The funds forfeited today had been destined to benefit criminal actors who engaged in an elaborate scheme to violate US sanctions against Iran, one of the world’s leading state sponsors of terrorism,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General David Burns.

“Thanks to assistance from our foreign partners and the combined efforts of the Criminal Division, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Alaska, the FBI, and the IRS, the forfeited funds will instead be used to directly compensate victims of state sponsors of terrorism.”

The Justice Department also said that between 2011 and 2014 three Iranian nationals and one US citizen defrauded South Korean banks by submitting false documents showing that Iranian companies were doing legitimate business with Korean companies.

“Based on these false documents, the conspirators succeeded in unlawfully transferring approximately $1 billion worth of Iranian-owned funds out of South Korea and into the world’s financial markets.”

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