650 Fifth Avenue
In December 2008, the Asset Forfeiture Unit and Terrorism and National Security Unit of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York sought to seize 40 percent ownership in the building after it charged that Bank Melli of Iran owns that percentage of the building in violation of the sanctions against Iran. The other 60 percent of the building is owned by the Alavi Foundation—a Bonyad that is successor to the Pahlavi Foundation.
Bank Melli had originally financed it with a $42 million loan in 1978.
According to the U.S. government, the Alavi Foundation transferred 35 percent interest in the building to a shell company Assa Company Limited, which had just one employee, in exchange for Bank Melli officially cancelling the loan. However, the shell company officially registered in Jersey, was reported to be owned by Bank Melli.
In 2012 the owners hired CBRE Group to overhaul the building and lease space and give the appearance that Iran no longer had ties to the building. The new group spent $11 million renovating the building lobby and elevators.
In September 2013 United States District Court for the Southern District of New York Judge Katherine B. Forrest ruled "based on the uncontroverted record evidence, Assa was (and is) a front for [Iran's first national bank] Bank Melli, and thus a front for the government of Iran" and thus Alavi should forfeit for the property. Alvavi indicated it would appeal the decision.
- 650 Fifth Avenue profile - Emporis.com - Retrieved March 4, 2009
- Kessler, Glenn. "U.S. Links Iranian Bank To Fifth Avenue Building". The Washington Post.
- United States Files Civil Forfeiture Action Against Assa Corporation's Interest in Manhattan Office Tower - U.S. Press Release - PR Newswire - December 17, 2008
Media related to 650 Fifth Avenue at Wikimedia Commons
|This article about a New York City building or structure is a stub. You can help Wikipedia by expanding it.|