News / Middle East

Iran Hangs Billionaire Convicted of Fraud

FILE: Billionaire Mahafarid Amir Khosravi, executed Saturday, spoke at his trial in Tehran, Iran, on Feb. 18, 2012.
FILE: Billionaire Mahafarid Amir Khosravi, executed Saturday, spoke at his trial in Tehran, Iran, on Feb. 18, 2012.
VOA News
The billionaire businessman who was the mastermind behind Iran's biggest fraud case was hanged Saturday in Tehran.
Authorities say Mahafarid Amir Khosravi was put to death at Tehran's notorious Evin Prison.
Khosravi was found guilty of having used forged documents to obtain credit at Iran's top financial institutions in the $2.6 billion scam. He bought numerous assets, including a steel company.
At least 20 other people were arrested in connection with the scheme.  Most are facing lengthy prison sentences, but at least three have received death sentences.
One of the suspects in the case fled to Canada. Mahmoud Reza Khavari, a former chief of a major Iranian bank, is on the Islamic Republic's most wanted list.
The trials raised questions about corruption at senior levels in Iran's tightly controlled economy during the administration of its former president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who dismissed the allegations as a smear campaign conducted by his opponents.

You May Like

Multimedia Brussels Schools, Metro Reopen Under Heavy Guard

City remains under the highest threat alert level due to what authorities have described as a 'serious and imminent' threat of attack

Video Debt-ridden Refugees Await Onslaught of Lebanese Winter

Aid agencies are attempting to reduce potentially devastating consequences of freezing conditions and snowstorms that killed eight last year, including three Syrian refugees

UN Warns Air Pollution in Asia Pacific Has Rising Cost

Globally some seven million people a year die prematurely due to indoor and outdoor pollution with about 70 per cent of those deaths in region

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments page of 2
by: Iranfail from: USA
May 27, 2014 12:20 AM
I wouldn't put it past the Iranian regime to sentence the guy to death just to get their hands on his money and businesses, just like Putin would arrest and convict oligarchs unless they renounced their billions. But hey, this is how Iran's mullahs do business. They pretty much hang anybody these days (700 and counting since Rouhani came into office). The only difference is they didn't hang this guy in public. They tend to accord that honor to just about everyone else including women, children, Christians, gays and political dissidents.

by: Tom Mills from: Brisbane
May 25, 2014 6:23 AM
So we are all just itching to head off to the wonderful narnia land of Iran. NOT. It's interesting that liars are defending this rathole of a country. That the many starve in countries where islam is practised is NOT the fault of the USA nor it's sanctions. Iran has and continues to invade countries all around the world by proxy and is the largest supporter of global terrorism. Hordes of people are leaving Iran for freedom. No one should be punished by death for simply stealing. I am not so concerned about white collar crime as I am about a bunch of religious half wits gaining a nuclear bomb.

by: dale from: usa
May 24, 2014 1:41 PM
In the Ukraine, this guy would be elected President.
In the US, he would be appointed Secretary of the Treasury for his intimate knowledge of how the banking system works.

by: Al from: Pauer
May 24, 2014 1:34 PM
Same should be done to CEO"S of Wells Fargo, Chase, Bank of America and all Wall Street Lions.
As well as all NSA contractors that used the system of snooping for their personal gain and play the Stock Market from 2003 to 2007

by: Jarlsbane from: USA
May 24, 2014 12:27 PM
China has a similar death penalty for corrupt businessmen & politicians. China seems to have no shortage of corrupt businessmen & politicians.
So, how much of a deterrent do you think the US justice system is to white-collar crime?

by: Sandberg from: US
May 24, 2014 12:01 PM
I have read 5 articles on this issue today and not one comments on the injustice committed by Iran's government. That men are not running in the streets, screaming at the horror of a government that murders a man for a white collar crime, is an indictment on us all—for a crime far worse than fraud.
In Response

by: dale from: santa cruz mts
May 24, 2014 7:58 PM
"An armed conflict between nations horrifies us. But the economic war is no better than an armed conflict. This is like a surgical operation. An economic war is prolonged torture. ......
The movements against war is sound. I pray for its success. But I cannot help the gnawing fear that the movement will fail it does not touch the root of all evil--human greed."
M.K Ghandi "Non-violence--The Greatest Force" 1926

Bush's criminal war against Iraq killed 500,000 innocent civilians, including 100,000 children. But Clinton's economic war--"sanctions"--killed 500,000 children under age 5.

EAch year millions die of malnutrition; 1 billion are starving.
These deaths far exceed war casualties and they are not due to a lack of food.

"The world produces enough food to feed everyone. World agriculture produces 17 percent more calories per person today than it did 30 years ago, despite a 70 percent population increase. This is enough to provide everyone in the world with at least 2,720 kilocalories (kcal) per person per day"

The global economy kills a hundred times more than wars.
White collar crimes are more lethal than wars and street crime.

In addition more Americans have been killed by guns since 1968 than all our wars. Iran, for instance, has a murder rate half that of the US (on average).

As for prisoners, the US leads the world (the most unfree people on earth)with over 2 million incarcerated. Iran has 163,000 prisoners. Per capita the US has over 3 times more prisoners than Iran.

Beware of falling for propaganda traps. People who live in glass houses should not throw stones. Each day about 21,000 people die from hunger (or related diseases) compared to a handful a day who are executed. Each day in the US, 85 die from guns.

Why aren't Americans running in the streets crying for a stop to the mass slaughter of innocent civilians abroad and the mass murder of US citizens by US citizens each day?

Compare: each year, Iran executes about 350 people, 1 a day while 21,000 die of hunger, due to human greed and economic policies which benefit the rich while killing the poor.

We need perspective to measure and focus our moral outrage.
No country has killed more people in the last 50 years than the US, including 5 million civilians in Vietnam (a war based on a lie), including 1 million children.

Our outrage should be directed to the corporate state which kills millions each year.
Poor nutrition plays a role in at least half of the 10.9 million child deaths each year--five million deaths. The rest are caused by diseases which are preventable.

Ghandi said it best: human greed (ie "white collar crimes") kill far far more than war and executions, and yet these criminals walk free in most nations, tho they are dealt with harshly in nations like China and Iran.

by: David P from: USA
May 24, 2014 11:41 AM
Death, death and more death. That is what Iran believes in and lives by. So how can anyone really expect to get a point across to them without having to resort to their level of extremes.
In Response

by: dale from: santa cruz mts
May 24, 2014 8:07 PM
In the past 15 years, the US has killed over 500,000 civilians in its criminal wars. How many has Iran killed?

Since 9/11, 400,000 Americans have died by gun. In Iran, about 25,000 have died.

The country which since WWII has killed the most people is the US:

Vietnam: 5 million civilians, incl 1 million children
Iraq, by sanctions: 500,000 children under 5 died
Iraq, by war: 500,000 civilians killed,incl over 100,000 children.

Iran, by contrast, has executed about 300 people a year and has not invaded one single nation.

The guilt of death clings most heavily to the United States, to our everlasting shame.

Globally, 11 million children a year die from hunger and related diseases, despite the fact that the world has more than enough food to feed everyone an adequate diet. This lethal maldistribution of food is a product of economic policies of globalization, the IMF, the WTO, and other institutions controlled by the wealthy nations.

White collar crime such as this kills a hundred times more than wars and executions.

Iran has not invaded a nation in 200 years. The US has, in the past 15 years invaded Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, and Pakistan, killing over half a million civilians. How many has Iran killed in that time span?

People who live in glass houses, with blood-smeared windows, should not throw stones at those whose crimes are a hundred times less. Death is the policy of the US and the corporatocracy which controls it. All other nations pale in comparison.

How many has China killed? How many has Russia killed?
How many has Iran killed. Let those with blood on their hands refrain from calling other nations cultures of death.

by: JoeJustJoe from: Temple City, Ca.
May 24, 2014 11:34 AM
It is good to see they are finally adopting western ways in their business dealings, the penalties are a bit harsh though.

by: joe from: usa
May 24, 2014 11:08 AM
the world would be a better place if we executed crimes involving $100million or more.

Mandatory death penalty for crimes above $ 100million...........

by: John from: florida
May 24, 2014 10:55 AM
We could learn a few things from Iran. Let's see how fast our bankers would get in line here in the States, if we started publicly hanging them for their transgressions!
Comments page of 2

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against ISi
November 24, 2015 3:04 AM
The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs