More than 200 people — mostly veterans and their families — filed a civil suit accusing six major banks of helping Iran transfer millions of dollars to groups targeting U.S. military and civilians during the Iraq war.
The complaint, filed in a Brooklyn federal court Monday, alleges the banks violated the Anti-Terrorism Act by conspiring with Iran to skirt U.S. law and funnel money through national and international banking systems all while knowing funds would likely wind up in terrorists’ hands.
The banks — HSBC Bank, Barclays, Standard Chartered, Royal Bank of Scotland, Credit Suisse, and Bank Saderat Iran — are headquartered overseas but have offices in New York, which they utilized to process transactions with Iranian institutions.
The lawsuit cites 70 incidents in which the banks allegedly helped finance violent activity through their ties to Iran. Also, it details passed accusations where the banks transferred money to Iran in violation of U.S. sanctions that resulted in a settlement. The banks admitted to wrongdoing and paid millions in fines.
This suit comes two months after the first terrorism-financing civil case in the U.S. came to a close. In September, a federal jury said Arab Bank Plc, which also has an office in New York, must compensate victims of two dozen terrorist attacks because of its connection to the group allegedly behind them, Hamas.
The plaintiffs are seeking a jury trial and unspecified damages.