The federal government has been granted permission to seize 650 Fifth Avenue, a Midtown tower that a New York federal judge previously ruled is a front for Iranian interests. The U.S. Justice Department said the ruling “paves the way for the largest-ever terrorism-related forfeiture,” as the tower is estimated to be worth between $500 million and $750 million.
Earlier this week, U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest ruled that two Iran-related entities, Alavi Foundation and Assa Corp., must forfeit their ownership stakes in the building.
The majority of proceeds from the forfeiture will go to the families of victims of Iranian-sponsored terrorism, CNBC reported.
Formerly called the Piaget Building, the trophy tower at 52nd Street first came under scrutiny four years ago, when the federal government moved to confiscate five assets owned by Alavi, according to previous reports.
A partial statement issued Tuesday on Alavi’s website indicated that the foundation plans to appeal the forfeiture decision. [CNBC] – Hiten Samtani