Regional
1:32 pm
Sun July 28, 2013

New Mexico Car Dealer Fights Federal Government

An Albuquerque used car dealer who is fighting the federal government's seizure of $841,000 from his business and personal bank accounts claims he's being singled out by federal authorities because he's a naturalized U.S. citizen who came from Iran.

Federal authorities deny that Reza Ella is being singled out because of his Iranian heritage.

Instead, federal authorities instead alleged in a civil forfeiture claim that Ella's Discount Auto Sales doesn't generate enough business to account for more than $1.7 million he deposited in local banks over 11 months.

They allege Ella structured deposits to keep them under $10,000 to avoid having the banks file currency transaction reports.

Still, the federal complaint against Ella doesn't allege that he's involved in a criminal enterprise.

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Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.