On January 3, 2018, Mehmet Hakan Atilla, a citizen and resident of Turkey, was found guilty of conspiring with others to use the U.S. financial system to conduct transactions on behalf of the Government of Iran and other Iranian entities and to defraud U.S. financial institutions by concealing the nature of these transactions.  After a four-week trial before U.S. District Judge Richard M. Berman, a federal jury convicted Atilla on five of six charges in the indictment.  According to documents filed in federal court and evidence produced at trial, Atilla, a Deputy General Manager of International Banking at a Turkish bank, helped Reza Zarrab, a gold trader, supply currency and gold to the Government of Iran and other Iranian entities.  They used fraudulent documents to make the prohibited Iranian financial transactions appear to be transactions involving food, which would qualify under the humanitarian exception to the sanctions regime.  As a result, Atilla and his co-conspirator induced U.S. banks to unknowingly process international financial transactions in violation of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (“IEEPA”).  Atilla was convicted of conspiracies to defraud the United States, to violate the IEEPA, to commit bank fraud, and to commit money laundering, as well as a substantive count of bank fraud.  He will be sentenced by Judge Berman on April 11, 2018.  United States v. Atilla, 15-cr-00867 (S.D.N.Y.)

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