Written by Associated Press
(AP) — A U.S. government lawyer has urged a jury to conclude a charity must give up majority ownership of a Manhattan skyscraper, saying it is secretly controlled by Iran.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Lockard told New York federal court jurors Monday in closing arguments that testimony proves the Alavi Foundation violated sanctions imposed in 1995.
Attorneys for Alavi say it isn’t controlled by Iran. It owns 60 percent of a 36-story office building near Rockefeller Center.
The U.S. government wants to give proceeds from a sale of the building and other properties to holders of over $5 billion in terrorism-related judgments against the government of Iran.
Lockard says Alavi violated sanctions by hiding Iran’s control over the building and by supporting an Iran-controlled entity that owned 40 percent of the building.