NEW YORK - A state judge lifted an injunction that effectively froze all the assets of Clark Clifford and Robert Altman, the Washington lawyers who face state and federal criminal charges for allegedly helping the defunct Bank of Credit and Commerce International's takeover of First American Bankshares Inc.

But state Supreme Court Justice Stephen Crane left intact an order freezing about $18 million held by Mr. Clifford in New York accounts. A lawyer for Mr. Clifford, former chairman of First American, said he did not know how much money his client has outside New York.

State prosecutors said they had been unable to find any New York assets of Mr. Altman, who was president of First American.

The prosecutors had obtained the injunction restricting the use of assets anywhere in the country and order freezing assets in New York more than two weeks ago. They are seeking $40 million from the two men, saying that equals what the pair made from their alleged criminal involvement with BCCI while running First American.

By lifting the injunction on the use of assets outside New York, Justice Crane will make it easier for Mr. Clifford and Mr. Altman to pay their legal bills. The judge said he would rule later on the argument by lawyers for the two men that only about $4 million in assets should be restricted.

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