07242014Thu

Victims of 1983 Beirut bombing drop Standard Chartered lawsuit

By Nate Raymond

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The estates of victims of the 1983 bombing of U.S. Marine barracks in Beirut have dropped a lawsuit against Standard Chartered Plc (STAN.L) that accused the bank of concealing Iranian transactions that could have satisfied a $2.67 billion judgment.

The dismissal was disclosed in a court filing in U.S. District Court in Manhattan on Wednesday.

The plaintiffs, who include representatives of the estates of 241 U.S. servicemen killed in the attack, had obtained a $2.67 billion default judgment against Iran in 2007 and have sought to enforce it through various lawsuits. In the Standard Chartered case, the plaintiffs contended the British bank had interfered with collecting on the judgment.

The case was filed in August as a scandal brewed over allegations that Standard Chartered was involved in concealing Iran transactions that New York State's financial regulator said totaled $250 billion. The bank settled with that agency for $340 million.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Justice Department and New York District Attorney's office announced that Standard Chartered agreed to pay an additional $327 million to resolve allegations it violated U.S. sanctions against countries including Iran and Sudan.

A pre-trial hearing in the Beirut case had been scheduled for Friday. The lawsuit is being dismissed without prejudice, meaning the plaintiffs can refile it at a later date.

Liviu Vogel, a lawyer for the bombing victims, declined to say why the lawsuit was dropped or if the plaintiffs would file new claims.

Julie Gibson, a spokeswoman for Standard Chartered, said the case had not been settled and had no further comment.

The case is Deborah Peterson et al v Standard Chartered Bank in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York No. 12-6257.

(Reporting By Nate Raymond in New York; Editing by Martha Graybow)

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