Banker from Turkey is Convicted in U.S. Over Plot to Evade Iran Sanctions

January 3, 2018

Author: 

Benjamin Weiser and Carlotta Gall

Publication: 

New York Times

Related Country: 

  • Turkey
  • United States

Mehmet Hakan Atilla, the deputy general manager for international banking at Turkey’s state-owned Halkbank, was convicted of bank fraud and conspiracies to violate Iran sanctions and defraud the United States. In 2012, Attila helped Iran circumvent sanctions and access restricted petrodollar funds being held at Halkbank. Co-defendant Reza Zarrab, who pled guilty before becoming the prosecution's star witness, said the scheme used false documents and front companies, and had support from Halkbank and Turkish and Iranian officials. Zarab admitted to paying bribes to two of the seven defendants who remain at large: Turkey’s economy minister Zafer Caglayan and Halkbank’s general manager Suleyman Aslan. Turkish officials continue to press the United States to drop the case.