Key Banking Scandal Figure Hanged in Iran

State media in Iran has reported that a key participant in the biggest banking scandal ever in the country was executed on Saturday in Tehran.

The offices of the public prosecutor in Tehran announced that one of the four conspirators, Mahafari Amir-Khosravi, who was given a sentence of death for his role in the $2.6 billion embezzlement scandal, was hanged inside Evin prison in Tehran. The other three conspirators also were given death sentences but their sentences have not yet been carried out.

The banking scandal rocked the country when it was uncovered in 2011 and the government has carried out the sentence on one of the four found guilty, said state run media.

Amongst the accused in the scandal were executives from seven of the largest banks in Iran, including the managing director from Melli Bank, the largest bank in Iran, who fled prosecution and the country shortly after information about the case was made public in September of 2011.

Amir-Khosravi was found guilty of forging bank’s letters of credit, of which the proceeds were later used in open up a private bank.

Plans for the former bank executive’s execution were not made public and the announcement of his death was surprising to many.

When the bank scandal, in which bank managers conspired with powerful businessmen to rob public funds, became public, it started months of national controversy that many thought had gone unpunished. They believed the banking scandal case would result in at most a few slaps to the wrists of the defendants.

A majority of the blame at that time was directed towards the former administration of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the ex-president and in specific Esfandiar Rahim Mashaei a political confidant and chief of staff. However, in the end no government officials were convicted.

However, fighting corruption in the financial world, which has become rampant during the two terms of Ahmadinejad, was a promise that Hassan Rouhani made when taking the presidential office in August of 2013.

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