Tuesday, August 21, 2012
The U.S. seized $150 million in connection with a Hezbollah-related money laundering scheme that involved the defunct Lebanese Canadian Bank, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Manhattan said.
The funds came from a U.S.-based account of Beirut-based Banque Libano Francaise SAL, which is holding money in escrow from the $580 million sale of the defunct Lebanese Canadian Bank to Societe Generale de Banque au Liban, prosecutors said in a statement.
Lebanese Canadian Bank, based in Beirut, was accused by federal prosecutors in December of helping launder at least $329 million for the Hezbollah, designated as a terrorist organization by the U.S. State Department, in a scheme that involved buying and selling used cars. Cash from the car sales as well as proceeds of narcotics trafficking were funneled to Lebanon through the scheme, the U.S. alleged.