May 12, 2008
For Immediate Release
VICTIMS OF HIZBOLLAH MISSILE ATTACKS BRING HISTORIC CIVIL
ACTION AGAINST UBS IN NEW YORK FEDERAL COURT
A group of American victims of Iranian sponsored terror have filed a civil
action in the United States District Court for the Southern District against
the Swiss mega-bank, UBS AG. The plaintiffs, all of whom had family members
injured or killed in Iranian-backed terror attacks, allege that UBS'
unlawful eight year-long provision of financial services to the Islamic
Republic at the time Iran was providing material support to terrorist
organizations renders the bank liable for the harm that has been inflicted
upon them and their families.
Included amongst the plaintiffs are three families who were physically and
emotionally harmed by the Katyusha rockets launched by Hizbollah into
Israeli cities during the 2006 war with Lebanon. This is the first civil
action brought by American victims of Hizbollah's katyusha rocket attacks.
The plaintiffs are represented by attorneys Robert Tolchin of New York City
and Nitsana Darshan-Leitner of Tel Aviv, Israel.
The allegations against UBS center around the Swiss bank's involvement in
transferring dollars to outlaw regimes such as Iran, Libya and Cuba. The UBS
operation was uncovered by American soldiers in Iraq in 2003 who discovered
brand new dollars, still wrapped in Federal Reserve casings behind a wall in
Saddam Huessein's palace. A Federal Reserve investigation of the currency
determined that UBS was responsible for illegally transferring between $4 to
$5 billion to states designated by the U.S. as sponsors of terrorism between
1996 and 2004.
At first UBS sought to deny the extent of the money transfers it had
provided to Iran and others, but confronted with overwhelming evidence,
eventually was compelled to admit the scope of its criminal activities. UBS,
one of world's wealthiest banks, was fined a $100 millions by the Federal
Reserve for its conduct.
The plaintiffs allege that without the provision of American dollars to
Tehran, the Islamic regime would not have been able to support terrorist
groups such as Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Hizbollah. The terrorist groups
need the easily convertible and readily accepted American dollars to
purchase weapons (such as Katyushas) and explosives as well as to facilitate
their terrorist training programs and to fund suicide bombings. The lawsuit
charges UBS, which has a branch in New York, with aiding and abetting Iran's
support of terror by illegally providing Tehran the dollars it needed to
pass along to the terrorist groups for their purchases and attacks. .
"UBS knew full well that the cash dollars it was providing to a state
sponsor of terrorism such as Iran would be used to cause and facilitate
by Iranian-sponsored terrorist organizations such as Hamas, Hizbollah and
PIJ," said Attorney Nitsana Darshan-Leitner. The plaintiffs are demanding
that UBS compensate them for the injuries they suffered as a result of
Iranian terror attacks in Israel.
FOR MORE INFORMATION & A COPY OF THE COMPLAINT
Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, Esq. (US) 212-591-0073
Mike Cohen (Israel) 011.972.54.499.6453
Robert Tolchin, Esq. (US) 212-227-2780