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.
Information from: Albuquerque Journal, http://www.abqjournal.com
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.