Yesterday, Turkish banker Mehmet Hakan Atilla was found guilty by a federal jury in New York of conspiracy to violate US sanctions against Iran. The scheme consisted of a money-laundering network facilitated by Turkish state bank Halkbank, which allowed Iran to gain access to international markets in contravention of US sanctions. Although nine defendants had been charged in the case, Mr Atilla was the only one who stood trial (seven other defendants are still at large). Co-defendant Reza Zarrab, a Turkish-Iranian businessman, previously pleaded guilty in the scheme and gave evidence in the trial against Mr Atilla (see previous blog here).
Mr Atilla is scheduled to be sentenced on 11 April 2018, whilst Mr Zarrab’s sentencing has yet to be listed. Turkey’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs has issued a press release, describing the guilty verdict as an “unjust and unfortunate development”, see here.