Iran Hangs Billionaire Over $2.6 Billion Bank Fraud

Iran hanging

By MBD, Political Blind Spot

An Iranian billionaire businessman who was at the heart of a $2.6 billion state bank scam – the largest fraud case since the nation’s 1979 Revolution – was recently executed according to state television reports.

State authorities put Mahafarid Amir Khosravi to death at the Evin prison. Khosravi is also known as Amir Mansour Aria, and went by several other aliases before he was put to death just north of the capital, Tehran.

The execution came after Iran’s Supreme Court upheld his death sentence, following a challenge made in a last-ditch attempt to spare his life by his lawyer.

That lawyer, Gholam Ali Riahi, was quoted on Khabar Online saying that his client was executed with essentially no notice.

“I had not been informed about the execution of my client,” Riahi explained. “All the assets of my client are at the disposal of the prosecutor’s office.”

State officials refused immediate comment on Riahi’s claim.

Khosravi’s fraud consisted of using forged documents to obtain credit at one of Iran’s top financial institutions. This institution, the Bank Saderat, was defrauded in order for Khosravi to purchase assets, including state-owned companies like major steel producer Khuzestan Steel Co. Some think that the fact that the state was hit where it hurts has a lot to do with the sentence carried out against Khosravi.

But Khosravi’s business empire included over 35 companies that ranged from mineral water production to a soccer club as well as meat imports from countries as far away as Brazil.

In all, 39 defendants were convicted in the Khosravi fraud case. Four of them received death sentences, including Khosravi, and two others got life sentences. The rest received sentences spanning up to 25 years in prison.

Reprinted with permission from Political Blind Spot.

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