Friday, November 13, 2009
Queens Blvd mosque owner funneled money to Iran
From the Daily News:
Putting the squeeze on Tehran, the feds moved Thursday to seize a mosque in Queens and a Fifth Avenue skyscraper from a nonprofit organization suspected of secretly funneling money to Iran.
"The Alavi Foundation has effectively been a front for the government of Iran," said Manhattan US Attorney Preet Bharara, who sued to grab more than $500 million in assets.
Bharara said that for two decades, the Alavi Foundation has been secretly controlled by a series of Iranian ambassadors to the United Nations.
Foundation president Farshi Jahedi was charged last year with obstruction of justice for allegedly trying to destroy documents after receiving a grand-jury subpoena.
Apart from 650 Fifth Avenue, the feds announced they were going after the Imam Ali Mosque in Woodside as well as Islamic schools and centers in California, Maryland, Virginia and Texas that allegedly got funds from the Alavi Foundation.
And from the AP:
At the Islamic Institute of New York, a mosque and school in Queens, two U.S. marshals came to the door and rang the bell repeatedly. The marshals taped a forfeiture notice to the window and left a large document sitting on the ground. After they left a group of men came out of the building and took the document.
Woodside again, eh?