Iran sentences four to death over banking scandal

DUBAI Mon Jul 30, 2012 12:03pm BST

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DUBAI (Reuters) - An Iranian court has sentenced four people to death for their roles in a billion-dollar banking fraud scandal that forced bank executives out of their jobs and tainted the government of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, state media reported on Monday.

The embezzlement case, discovered in September 2011, revolved around forged documents allegedly used by the directors of an Iranian investment company to secure loans totalling $2.6 billion (1.6 billion pounds) to buy state-owned enterprises.

Thirty-nine people were tried for their involvement in the fraud.

"We are typing their sentences now and according to the sentence that was issued, four of the accused in this case were sentenced to death," judiciary spokesman Gholam-Hossein Mohseni-Ejei told the IRNA state news agency.

He did not name the individuals sentenced to death.

Two others were sentenced to life imprisonment and others received sentences ranging from 25 years and down, Mohseni-Ejei was quoted as saying.

(Reporting By Yeganeh Torbati; Editing by Angus MacSwan)

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