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Model sues singers, NYC club over brawl

A model who says his hand was injured during a bottle-throwing nightclub brawl between Chris Brown and Drake sued both singers and the owners of the New York City nightclub Monday.

Romain Julien, who was sitting at a nearby table during the brawl, suffered a severed tendon in his right hand during the June 14 melee, a lawsuit filed in a State Supreme Court said. Julien also alleged that he endured lacerations from broken glass, cosmetic deformity and mental distress.

The complaint accused Brown of having a "hot temper" and inciting the altercation with Drake.

The operators of the club Greenhouse and its basement lounge, W.i.P., are also named in the suit. Julien claimed the operators created a public nuisance by failing to provide adequate security and serving liquor to intoxicated patrons.

Julien, a model with Re:Quest Model Management, is seeking actual and punitive damages. Representatives for the nightclub, Brown and Drake had no immediate comment.

Last week, a company with ties to the club sought to hold Drake and Brown responsible for the melee in a $16 million lawsuit.


Queens woman sentenced in scheme

A Long Island City woman was sentenced Monday to 3 to 9 years in prison for stealing more than a million dollars in a Ponzi scheme, officials said.

Between 2003 and 2008, Ibis Febles, 66, and her business partner, who is still a fugitive, collected more than $1.3 million from 30 investors and promised them a 14 percent return on real estate investments, the Queens district attorney said.

Febles, who pleaded guilty in May to several charges, never invested the money in real estate and refused to return the money to the investors, according to the DA.

-- amNewYork


U.S. seizes $150M in Hezbollah probe

U.S. authorities have seized $150 million linked to an alleged scheme by Hezbollah to launder drug money.

Prosecutors in New York City announced Monday they used a seizure warrant to take the money from an escrow account in Lebanon.

The prosecutors had filed a lawsuit last year demanding hundreds of millions in money-laundering penalties from Lebanese financial institutions and other entities.

Authorities had said that since 2007, more than $300 million was wired from Lebanon to the United States to buy used cars for resale in West Africa. Prosecutors said they had evidence that Hezbollah used back channels to wire cash made off the cars and drug-dealing proceeds back to Lebanon.


Court: Men must pay for stolen lobsters

A New York court has concluded three men owe $54.9 million in restitution to the South African government for stealing lobsters off its coast.

A U.S. magistrate judge in Manhattan made the finding last week. It must be approved by a district court judge.

The recommendation came in a case brought in 2003 by the U.S. government against three men accused of taking lobsters from South African waters between 1987 and 2001.

Although judges initially ruled no money was owed, a federal appeals court in Manhattan said the South African government has a property right in illegally harvested rock lobsters. The lobsters were imported into the United States. The Pew Environment Group applauds the award. Lawyers for the defendants haven't responded to messages left Monday seeking comment.


Fossils dealer seeks dinosaur's return

A Florida fossils dealer whose dinosaur was seized by the U.S. government so it could be given to the government of Mongolia is demanding in New York court papers it be given back to him.

Lawyers for Gainesville, Fla., resident Eric Prokopi say in court papers filed Monday he's the victim of a media campaign stirred up by academic paleontologists.

The government seized the Tyrannosaurus bataar skeleton in June. It had sued to obtain the bones, which had been sold at auction for more than $1 million.

Court papers say Prokopi and Dallas-based Heritage Auctions were in negotiations with Mongolia's president to settle the dispute when the United States filed a seizure lawsuit to obtain the dinosaur.

Compiled from wire services

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