Iran sentences four people to death for bank fraud
* Islamic Republic’s biggest bank scam tainted government
* Ahmadinejad denies fraudsters linked to top officials
* Four condemned to hang, others get jail, flogging
By Yeganeh Torbati
DUBAI, July 30 (Reuters) – An Iranian court has sentenced four people to death for a billion-dollar bank fraud that tainted the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, state media reported on Monday.
Iranians, hit by sanctions and soaring inflation, were shocked by the scale of the $2.6 billion bank loan embezzlement that was exposed last year and by allegations it was carried out by people close to the political elite or with their assent.
Of the thirty-nine people tried for the fraud – the biggest in the Islamic Republic’s history – four were sentenced to hang, the IRNA state news agency reported.
“According to the sentence that was issued, four of the defendants in this case were sentenced to death,” prosecutor general Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei told IRNA.
Two people were sentenced to life and others received jail sentences of up to 25 years, Mohseni-Ejei said. In addition to jail time, some were sentenced to flogging, ordered to pay fines and banned from government jobs.