by Christopher Freeburn | September 18, 2013 11:41 am
The U.S. government is about to become the owner of a 36-story tower in New York City.
Federal authorities have been cleared by a judge to seize the office building after the government accused its owners of links to the Iranian government. The Department of Justice says that the seizure will mark the “largest-ever terrorism-related forfeiture,” USA TODAY notes.
Authorities claim that the owners of 650 Fifth Avenue, located not far from Rockefeller Center in midtown Manhattan, helped launder money that was ultimately funneled to the Iranian government. The building is owned by a private foundation and a corporation. The foundation, which says its mission is to promote the Persian language and Islamic culture, announced plans to appeal the decision on its website.
Once dubbed the Piaget Building because the high-end Swiss watchmaker had offices there, the tower was designed by John Carl Warnecke and is estimated to be worth up to $700 million. Its current tenants include Citigroup (C) and Starwood Hotels and Resorts (HOT).
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