14 Iranian banks involved in $3-billion embezzlement case

14 Iranian banks involved in $3-billion embezzlement case

Baku, Azerbaijan, May 21

By Umid Niayesh - Trend:

A senior judiciary official has announced that 14 Iranian banks were involved in the famous 2011 $3-billion embezzlement case.

Iran's prosecutor general Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejei said that state-run Bank Saderat and Bank Melli were the main banks involved in the case, Iran's Mehr news agency reported on May 21.

Mohseni Ejehei made the remarks during a report to lawmakers in Iran's parliament.

The $3-billion embezzlement was a fraud involving the use of forged documents to obtain credit from Iranian state and private banks to purchase state-owned companies. This bank fraud had been described as the biggest financial scam in the country's history.

The prosecutor general went on to say that seven MPs who were accused of involvement in the case acquitted due to lack of evidences.

Earlier in October 2013 Iranian media outlets quoted MP Javad Karimi Ghoddousi as saying three Iranian lawmakers' involvement in the case has been confirmed.

Karimi Ghoddousi went on to note that about 10 MPs have gone to court, and some of them have been investigated.

He also stressed that there are pressures to influence the investigation.

Commenting on the number of companies which were involved in the case, Mohseni Ejei said that name of 57 companies registered in the fraud case, with some 30 of them were active companies with thousands of employees.

"A special working group established for management of the companies to prevent their closure which if had happened would leave several thousands jobless," he remarked.

Thirty-nine persons were accused of involvement in the case during the investigations, he said, adding that several high-ranking officials including certain persons in judiciary, parliament and presidential administration were persecuted or arrested.

Four of the defendants in the case were sentenced to death and two people received life sentence, Mohseni Ejei said.

In addition to jail time, some defendants banned from government jobs, he added.

The prosecutor general remarked that the judiciary seriously confront with economic frauds in the country, adding that if the economic fraud is merged with political corruption it will lead to serious problems for the Islamic Republic.

He also stressed that the "corrupters are making obstacles in Iranian administration way to fight against corruption" without unveiling further details.

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