Iran hangs main convict in biggest banking fraud
Iran has executed the number-one convict in the biggest embezzlement case in the country’s banking history.
According to Tehran’s Public Prosecutor’s Office, Mahafarid Amir-Khosravi was hanged at Evin detention center Saturday dawn.
Khosravi was convicted of disrupting the country’s economy through embezzlement, money laundering, and bribery. He had denied many of the charges.
In July 2012, a Tehran court handed down a death sentence to Amir-Khosravi and three others, including Behdad Behzadi, his legal advisor, Iraj Shoja, his financial solicitor and Saeed Kiani Rezazadeh, the head of the Ahvaz branch of Saderat Bank. The first court session in the case was held on February 18.
Former CEO of Iran’s Melli Bank Mohammad Reza Khavari, who is one of the main suspects in the case, is on the run and wanted by the Interpol.
The president of Melli Bank’s branch in Kish received a sentence of life imprisonment and Khodamorad Ahmadi, a former official involved in the embezzlement case, was sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Other defendants were handed down sentences varying from flogging to paying cash fines and being barred from public office.
The defendants stood trial for misappropriating a total of USD 2.6 billion of funds by using forged documents to obtain credit from banks to purchase state-owned companies.
According to the indictment, the owners of Aria Investment Development Company, which is at the center of the controversy, had bribed bank managers to get loans and letters of credit. The company has more than 35 offshoots active in diverse business activities.