Iran Billionaire Convicted of Fraud Hanged So Quickly Lawyer Didn't Know

Tuesday, 27 May 2014 02:10 PM

By Nick Sanchez

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Iran state television reported Saturday that a billionaire businessman at the heart of the country's largest fraud case since the 1979 Islamic Revolution has been hanged.

Mahafarid Amir Khosravi, also known as Amir Mansour Aria, was sentenced so quickly by the Supreme Court that his lawyer was not even informed that the execution had been scheduled, Breitbart reported.

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"I had not been informed about the execution of my client," said Gholam Ali Riahi after learning of his client's hanging in Evin Prison in Tehran. "All the assets of my client are at the disposal of the prosecutor’s office."

Khosravi was convicted of running a $2.6 billion bank scam since 2007 that involved "more than 35 companies from mineral water production to a football club and meat imports from Brazil" wrote The Washington Post. Through forged documents, he was able to get credit at Bank Saderat, one of Iran's top financial institutions, and purchase state-owned companies.

Thirty-nine defendants were convicted of crimes of vary degree in connection with the fraud, and four, including Khosravi, were sentenced to death.

The New York Times reported that the case highlighted political fallout between Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad when it came to light in 2011.

Political opponents of Ahmadinejad tried to connect him to the fraud, however the Iranian Parliament's investigation of the case found that he did not have a broad role in the scheme, and that others were the primary players in corrupting the administration that closely controlled the economy.

Mahmoud Reza Khavari, a former head of a major Iranian bank, escaped to Canada in 2011 to avoid the trial, maintaining that his bank was involved in the fraud, however he was not.

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