Judge Engelmayer Orders Foreign Defendants’ U.S. Counsel to Accept Service in Terrorist Money-Laundering Case
Judge Engelmayer today granted the federal government’s motion for leave to effect alternative service on a group of Lebanese financial institutions accused of a $450 million money-laundering scheme involving Hizballah, a group designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the U.S. Department of State.
The government filed its in rem civil forfeiture and money-laundering complaint against the Lebanese institutions and other defendants on December 15, 2011, alleging a scheme by which funds were transferred from Lebanon to the United States in order to purchase used cars, which were then shipped to West Africa and sold for cash. That cash was then allegedly transferred, along with the proceeds of narcotics trafficking and other crimes, to Lebanon. Members of Hizballah were involved at various stages of the process.