BCCI's assets were shut down by bank regulators in the United States and abroad. When Syed Shahzad Murtaza attempted to obtain access to the monies, he was told by bank authorities that BCCI-related assets and accounts had been frozen. Id. at P 2.
Shah first pursued the frozen fluids through BCCI-Lahore, which told him that it was not allowed to release the fluids based upon an order by the Pakistani government. Id. at P 3. Later, Shah's inquiries led to First American Bank, which also told him that it was unable to effect any payments out of BCCI-related accounts. Id. at P 4.
Unable to free the fluids, Shah filed the instant claim which the government moved to dismiss on November 15, 1993, on the ground that Shah is an unsecured general creditor. See Government's Motion to Dismiss Round Three Petitions of BCCI Depositors, supra, at 3. On January 12, 1994, Shah filed his reply to the Motion to Dismiss, taking issue with certain facts in the Motion to Dismiss, but not providing anything that would change his status as an unsecured general creditor. Shah did not appear at the hearing.
4. Siddiqui's Claim.
On October 18, 1993, Aqeel Ahmed Siddiqui filed his Third Round L-Claim for the amount of $ 28,500. Siddiqui's claim, identical to the one that he filed in Round Two and which was dismissed by this Court, see United States v. BCCI Holdings (Luxembourg), S.A., et al., 833 F. Supp. 17, 20 (D.D.C. 1993), stems from two drafts of $ 3,500 and $ 25,000 drawn on June 24, 1991 from his account at BCCI-Colombo, Sri Lanka, to Security Pacific International Bank of New York. Siddiqui's L-Claim, supra, at P 2. Before the drafts were honored by Security Pacific International Bank, BCCI's assets in the United States and abroad were frozen on July 5, 1991. Apparently, the first draft for $ 3,500 was presented for payment and refused; the second draft for $ 25,000 was never presented. Id. at P 3.
On November 15, 1993, the government filed its Motion to Dismiss Round Three Petitions of BCCI Depositors, presenting the same arguments on which it had prevailed in Round Two: as a depositor in a BCCI bank, Siddiqui was an unsecured general creditor and, therefore, he lacked standing under 18 U.S.C. § 1963. Siddiqui did not reply to the Motion to Dismiss and did not appear at the hearing.
5. & 6. Rizvis' and Iyers' Claims.
On October 7, 1993, Mahfooz H. and Hina M. Rizvi, and Vasudeva M. and Rajalakshmi V. Iyer filed separate but identical Notices of Claims to that portion of BCCI property listed as loans receivable due the BCCI trustee, consisting of the mortgages and notes covering their family homes, which are in Miami, Florida. See Rizvis' L-Claim, supra, at 1; Iyers' L-Claim, supra, at 1. Both the Rizvis and Iyers initially contended that they were owed substantial sums of money by BCCI arising out of a prior employment relationship with BCCI, and they sought a set-off against loans made to them by BCCI. On February 14, 1994, both amended their petitions to "waive any claim to any particular asset held by BCCI and instead assert a general unsecured interest in the estate of BCCI." Notices of Modification of Claim, at 1 (filed February 14, 1994).
On February 17, 1994, the government moved to dismiss both the Rizvis' and Iyers' L-Claims on the ground that they lacked standing as unsecured general creditors. Neither replied to the Motion to Dismiss nor did either appear at the hearing.
Title 18, United States Code, Section 1963 sets forth an orderly procedure by which third parties seeking to recover interests in forfeited property may obtain judicial resolution of their claims. The provision granting standing to parties seeking to amend an order of forfeiture to exclude certain property states:
Any person other than the defendant, asserting a legal interest in property which has been ordered forfeited to the United States pursuant to this section may, within thirty days of the final publication of notice or his receipt of notice under paragraph (1), whichever is earlier, petition the court for a hearing to adjudicate the validity of his alleged interest in the property. The hearing shall be held before the court alone, without a jury.