US collects $7 million in Iranian assets for victims of terrorism fund: Justice Dept

The United States government collected $7 million in Iranian funds to be allocated to compensation to American victims of state-sponsored terrorism, the Justice Department said on Tuesday.

The funds were the US share of a civil forfeiture that targeted attempts to violate sanctions on the Iranian regime and Iranian nationals with fraudulent transfers of approximately $1 billion of Iranian-owned funds to accounts around the globe, the department said in a statement.

“The funds subject to today’s stipulation 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 of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

The Justice Department 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,” the statement read.

The $7 million will be allocated to the US Victims of State Sponsored Terrorism Fund, which Congress set up to provide compensation to certain individuals who were injured in acts of international state-sponsored terrorism, including victims of the 1979 US embassy hostage situation in Iran, among others.

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