Last updated: 30 July, 2012

Iran sentences four to death in bank fraud trial

A Tehran court has sentenced to death four people convicted in Iran’s biggest-ever banking scandal, according to the national chief prosecutor on Monday, quoted by the official news agency IRNA.

The sentences came at the end of a trial of 39 suspects that started in February. The magnitude of the scandal was estimated last year at $2.6 billion.

“According to the verdict, four people were sentenced to death,” chief prosecutor Gholam Hossein Mohseni Ejeie was quoted as saying.

Mohseni Ejeie said two other of the suspects were sentenced to life in prison and the remaining received terms behind bars of up to 25 years after also being found guilty of corruption.

The identities of those convicted were not made public.

The scandal revolved around a private group that amassed trillions of rials in loans from half a dozen Iranian banks through what were said to be forged or illegally procured letters of credit to buy several state companies up for privatisation.

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad last year denied accusations from some critical media outlets that his office had any links to the fraud.