U.S. obtains $102 million settlement in Lebanese bank case


A Lebanese bank accused of being at the center of global money-laundering schemes tied to Hezbollah would pay a $102 million settlement, U.S. authorities said Tuesday.

The settlement would resolve a lawsuit filed in 2011 against Lebanese Canadian Bank, accusing it of using the U.S. banking system to launder drug trafficking profits through West Africa back into Lebanon.

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Most of the private bank's assets were acquired by the Lebanese subsidiary of France's Societe Generale in 2011, after the U.S. Department of Treasury designated the Lebanese Canadian Bank as a "primary money-laundering concern."

The $102 million would come out of $150 million previously seized by the U.S. government, the Justice Department said. Societe Generale de Banque au Liban would receive the other $48 million.

Under the settlement, Lebanese Canadian Bank would pay another $12 million to Societe Generale to resolve claims for $90 million of the seized funds, the Justice Department said.

(Corrects day in first paragraph to say Tuesday instead of Wednesday)

(Reporting by Nate Raymond in New York; Editing by Gerald E. McCormick)