posted by Christopher Holton
A U.S. jury on Wednesday found a Turkish banker guilty of helping Iran evade U.S. sanctions, after a nearly four-week trial that has strained diplomatic relations between the United States and Turkey.
Mehmet Hakan Atilla, an executive at Turkey’s majority state-owned Halkbank, was convicted on five of six counts he faced, including bank fraud and conspiracy to violate U.S. sanctions law, in Manhattan federal court.
“Foreign banks and bankers have a choice: you can choose willfully to help Iran and other sanctioned nations evade U.S. law, or you can choose to be part of the international banking community transacting in U.S. dollars,” Joon Kim, the acting U.S. Attorney in Manhattan, said in a statement after the verdict was read. “But you can’t do both.”
U.S. District Judge Richard Berman scheduled Atilla to be sentenced on April 11.