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Four people sentenced to death in Iran bank scandal

in International Business

Four people sentenced to death in Iran bank scandal

Iran saw its history’s biggest bank scandal, exposed last year, in which USD 2.6bn loan was embezzled in Sedarat Bank of Iran.

The scandal comes amid the time when Iran is hit by sanctions and soaring inflation.

The trial began in February. Of the 39 people tried for the fraud, four were sentenced to death, two life terms, and other received jail sentences of up to 25 years. Some were sentenced to flogging in addition to jail time and were ordered to pay fines and banned from government jobs.

By allegations the people involved had close ties to the political elite, a claim President Mahmud Ahmadinejad has rejected.

The Prosecutor General Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei did not name the defendants and the Iranian media have identified them by their initials.

According to the Iranian media, the mastermind behind the scandal is businessman Amir Mansoor Khosraw who is said to have forged letter of credit from Irna’s Bank Saderat to fund dozens of companies and buy a state-owned steel factory.

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei had requested the media last year not to “drag out the issue”.

“Some want to use this event to score points against the country’s officials,” Khamenei said. “The people should know the issue will be followed up on.”

Prosecutor Mohseni-Ejei wanted to show through this case that Iran can deal transparently with high-level fraud.

However, one of the defendants complained that some senior officials have also been part of the fraud, but they had gone unpunished.

Ejei said the sentences can be appealed. By law the convicted have 20 days to appeal.

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