Tehran, Iran. Two people were sentenced to death for committing fraud in Iran. How much did they embezzle to deserve that?
In the biggest fraud case in Iran’s history, four people were sentenced to death in 2012 for their involvement in banking fraud amounting to $2.6 billion. The charges were “corruption on Earth and disrupting the country’s economy.”
The owners of Amir Mansour Aria Development Co. Allegedly bribed bank managers to get loans and letters of credit. Seven state and private banks were reportedly connected to the fraud, which involved forging letters of credit from the partially state-owned Bank Saderat to secure loans for purchasing state-owned companies.
The fraud reportedly extended over a four-year period, but became more serious in the months before the scandal broke in September 2011. According to Iranian newspapers, Iranian businessman Amir-Mansour Aria masterminded the scam. The head of a judicial investigations unit has called the case “the most unprecedented financial corruption case in the history of Iran.”
Thirty nine suspects were arrested for their involvement; four got the death penalty and two received life sentences. The rest were handed down prison sentences — some as long as 25 years. They were also ordered to return the assets.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had campaigned against corruption before taking office in 2005 and so he came under attack when critics blamed his close aide and relative, Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei, of having ties with the main suspect. The government vehemently denied any involvement in the fraud.