Iran General NewsNY prosecutor sees bank settling on Iran ties

NY prosecutor sees bank settling on Iran ties

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ImageReuters: Prosecutors expect a "mainstream" international bank to reach a settlement within 30 days over illicit links with Iran, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said on Thursday. By Grant McCool

ImageNEW YORK, Sept 17 (Reuters) – Prosecutors expect a "mainstream" international bank to reach a settlement within 30 days over illicit links with Iran, Manhattan District Attorney Robert Morgenthau said on Thursday.

Morgenthau, New York City's chief prosecutor, declined to identify the bank beyond saying it was "mainstream" and neither from the United States nor Britain.

He also told reporters his office was investigating "a couple" of Venezuelan banks on the same issue, confirming a report in the Financial Times last week.

The international bank case is a follow-up of a prosecution of Lloyds TSB over the illegal transfer of $300 million in Iranian cash. Earlier this year, Lloyds agreed to pay $350 million to settle a money-laundering case.

"The foreign bank was stripping the identity of Iranian money, just like LLoyds," Morgenthau said at a news conference to announce a separate New York tax evasion case. "We hope to resolve it in the next 30 days.

"There is no question about what the bank did," Morgenthau said. "There is a question of how much they are willing to pay to settle the case."

In a speech on Sept. 8, Morgenthau said he believed Banco Internacional de Desarrollo CA, a unit of Export Development Bank of Iran, had relations with Venezuelan banks and banks in Panama to give it access to the U.S. financial system to break international sanctions against it over its nuclear program.

On Thursday, he cited the "very, very close relationship" between Iran and Venezuela. He gave no further details about the investigation into the Venezuelan banks. (Reporting by Grant McCool, editing by Matthew Lewis)

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