Region | Iran

Iran billionaire executed over $2.6b fraud

Lawyer says his client was put to death without any notice

  • AP
  • Published: 15:15 May 24, 2014
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: AP
  • In this picture Feb. 18, 2012 photo, released by the Iranian Students News Agency, ISNA, Mahafarid Amir Khosravi speaks at his trial in a court in Tehran, Iran.

Tehran: A billionaire businessman at the heart of a $2.6 billion state bank scam, the largest fraud case since the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution, was executed Saturday, state television reported.

Authorities put Mahafarid Amir Khosravi, also known as Amir Mansour Aria, to death at Evin prison, just north of the capital, Tehran, the station reported. The report said the execution came after Iran’s Supreme Court upheld his death sentence.

Khosravi’s lawyer, Gholam Ali Riahi, was quoted by news website khabaronline.ir as saying that his client was put to death without any notice.

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

State officials did not immediately comment on Riahi’s claim.

The fraud involved using forged documents to get credit at one of Iran’s top financial institutions, Bank Saderat, to purchase assets including state-owned companies like major steel producer Khuzestan Steel Co.

Khosravi’s business empire included more than 35 companies from mineral water production to a football club and meat imports from Brazil. According to Iranian media reports, the bank fraud began in 2007.

A total of 39 defendants were convicted in the case. Four received death sentences, two got life sentences and the rest received sentences of up to 25 years in prison.

The trials raised questions about corruption at senior levels in Iran’s tightly controlled economy during the administration of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Mahmoud Reza Khavari, a former head of Bank Melli, another major Iranian bank, escaped to Canada in 2011 after he resigned over the case. He faces charges over the case in Iran and remains on the Islamic Republic’s wanted list. Khavari previously admitted that his bank partially was involved in the fraud, but has maintained his innocence.

Comments (3)

  1. Added 15:05 May 25, 2014

    I believe that the death sentence is justified. Can we imagine how many families at the grass root levels get affected by these types of actions on the top? Remember the 2008 recession? How many people committed suicide over the world?

    Muhammad Zeeshan Hussain, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 13:10 May 25, 2014

    Death penalty for the above violation is unjustifiable. Capital punishment can be given for barbaric crimes. He can be given life imprisonment and the government should've seized his assets for settling claims. The penalty given to him is an inhuman act.

    Mariakutty, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 11:38 May 25, 2014

    These type of punishments are required in some countries to ease hardships of people

    Saleem, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

Gulf News
News Editor's choice