– Iran sentences 4 to death in biggest bank fraud case (PressTV, Feb 18, 2013):
Iran Judiciary has handed down death sentence to four people convicted of involvement in the biggest embezzlement case in the country’s banking history.
“Four people were sentenced to death on charges of corruption on earth and disrupting the country’s economic system,” Iran’s Judiciary spokesman Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei told reporters on Monday.
“The four are Mahafarid Amir-Khosravi…[the prime suspect], Behdad Behzadi, his legal advisor, Iraj Shoja, his financial solicitor and Saeed Kiani Rezazadeh, head of the Ahvaz branch of Saderat Bank,” he said.
“The president of Bank Melli branch in Kish was slapped with life imprisonment and former deputy minister Khodamorad Ahmadi was sentenced to 10 years in prison,” Mohseni-Ejei, who is also Iran’s attorney general, added.
Other defendants were handed down sentences varying from flogging to paying cash fines and being barred from public office, he said.
Mohseni-Ejei also stated that almost none of the companies involved in this case were ordered closed by the court.
The defendants stood trial for misappropriating a total of USD2.6 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 which are active in diverse business activities.