A billionaire businessman at the heart of a US$2.6 billion state bank scam, the largest fraud case since the 1979 Islamic revolution, was executed on Saturday, state television reported.
Mahafarid Amir Khosravi, also known as Amir Mansour Aria, died at Evin prison, just north of Tehran, the TV reported. It said the execution came after the Supreme Court upheld his death sentence.
Khosravi's lawyer, Gholam Ali Riahi, said that the death sentence was carried out without any notice. Death sentences in Iran usually are carried out by hanging.
"I had not been informed about the execution of my client," Riahi said. "All the assets of my client are at the disposal of the prosecutor's office." The fraud involved using forged documents to get credit at one of Iran's top financial institutions, Bank Saderat, to purchase assets including state-owned companies such as major steel producer Khuzestan Steel.
Khosravi's business empire included more than 35 companies from mineral-water production to a soccer club and meat imports from Brazil. According to Iranian media reports, the bank fraud began in 2007.
In all, 39 people were convicted in the case. Four were given the death penalty, two got life sentences and the rest received sentences of up to 25 years jail.