WASHINGTON, Jan 5 (Reuters) – The U.S. government collected $7 million in Iranian assets for victims of state-sponsored terrorism, the Justice Department said on Tuesday.

The money was the U.S. share of a civil forfeiture that targeted attempts to violate sanctions on Iran with fraudulent transfers of about $1 billion of Iranian-owned funds to accounts around the world, it said in a statement.

“The funds forfeited today had been destined to benefit criminal actors who engaged in an elaborate scheme to violate U.S. sanctions against Iran, one of the world’s leading state sponsors of terrorism,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General David Burns.

(Reporting by Doina Chiacu; Editing by Lisa Lambert)