New York Fed Asks Judge to Dismiss Armenian Group’s ‘Turkish Gold’ Lawsuit


NEW YORK (Bloomberg) — The Federal Reserve Bank of New York asked a judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed by an Armenian group seeking to force the disclosure of information on gold and other assets allegedly seized by the Turkish government in 1915.

The nonprofit Center for Armenian Remembrance, based in Glendale, Calif., sued the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in March, saying Armenian assets called “Turkish gold” were seized during the “Armenian Holocaust.”

The center’s claims are “moot” because the nonprofit group has “already conducted a thorough examination of defendant’s relevant records” and “has already received and reviewed documents it has deemed relevant to its requests,” the Federal Reserve Bank of New York said in its response to the complaint filed today in federal court in Manhattan.

The bank asked US District Judge Deborah A. Batts to throw out the center’s lawsuit and order the group to pay the bank’s legal costs.

The assets, according to the center’s lawsuit, totaled about 5 million pounds at the time and were deposited by the Turkish government in Germany’s Reichsbank. They were taken by the US and other Allied powers at the end of World War I under the Treaty of Versailles, the center said.

The group said it filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the Federal Reserve in June. The agency said it couldn’t locate any information and forwarded the request to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, which also said it couldn’t find any records.

The case is Center for Armenian Remembrance v. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, 1:11-cv-01483, US District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).