Farshid arrested in NY over Iran probe

FBI accuses Alavi Foundation head of sabotaging investigation linked to nuclear program funding.

iran nuclear melli alavi 248.88 (photo credit: )
iran nuclear melli alavi 248.88
(photo credit: )
Authorities charged the president of an Iranian foundation Friday with obstructing justice in an investigation of a bank accused of helping fund Iran's nuclear program. Jahedi Farshid, 54, the president of the Alavi Foundation, is accused of trying to throw away documents cited in a subpoena issued Wednesday, federal prosecutors said. An FBI complaint against Farshid said he was warned not to destroy documents requested by a grand jury. It said he disobeyed the order when he went home to Ardsley, New York, where he dumped papers in a public trash can on Thursday. Earlier this week, the Treasury Department sought forfeiture of the 40 percent interest that Assa Co. Ltd. held in the Fifth Ave. building it shares with the Alavi Foundation. The US government said Assa was a front company set up by Iran's Bank Melli to funnel money from the US to Iran. Bank Melli has been accused of providing support for Iran's nuclear program. Prosecutors said the Alavi Foundation is the successor organization of the Pahlavi Foundation, which built the Manhattan office tower with a substantial loan from Bank Melli. If convicted, Farshid could face up to 10 years in prison. A lawyer representing him and his foundation did not immediately return a call seeking comment.