The US Department of Justice (Southern District of New York) has announced that Iranian national Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad has been charged with allegedly participating in a scheme to evade US sanctions against Iran; specifically, “a scheme in which more than $115 million in payments for a Venezuelan housing complex were illegally funnelled through the US financial system for the benefit of Iranian individuals and entities”.
Geoffrey Berman, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, stated that Mr Nejad had “created a network of front companies and foreign bank accounts [(in Switzerland, Turkey and the British Virgin Islands)] to mask Iranian business dealings in Venezuela and evade US sanctions”.
In light of the charges, the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) has issued an order to remove Mr Nejad, with immediate effect, from the position of director (along with any other executive roles) of the Pilatus Bank Limited. His voting rights as a shareholder of the bank have also been suspended. MFSA Notices here and here.
On 28 March 2018, Mr. Nejad pleaded not guilty to the charges before US Magistrate Judge Barbara Moses in Manhattan.