US seeks at least 15-year sentence for Turkish banker
U.S. prosecutors on Wednesday asked a federal judge to sentence a former Turkish banker convicted of violating U.S. sanctions on Iran to at least 15 years in prison, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.
In a filling in a Manhattan federal court, prosecutors said the standard sentence for Mehmet Hakan Atilla, former deputy CEO of Turkey's majority state-owned Halkbank, would be 105 years. But they suggested an alternative calculation that would result in a 15 to 20-year term that is in line with similar cases.
Prosecutors also asked the court to impose a monetary punishment.
"The government also respectfully requests that the Court impose a substantial fine within the guidelines range of $50,000 to $500,000," it said, claiming that Atilla’s involvement in the violation of the sanctions created "immense risks" to U.S. national security.
In a 75-page petition to the court, Atilla's lawyers asked the judge for a "fair and merciful" sentence of between 4 to 5 years.
Citing similar cases in which other national banks violated sanctions against Iran, the lawyers noted that none of the directors of those banks were arrested or sentenced but Atilla, who had no connection with the U.S., is facing a life sentence.
Defense lawyers also said evidence showed their client had been used by the “architect of this plot", businessman Riza Sarraf.
Sarraf, who was arrested in the U.S. in March 2016 and accused of violating U.S. sanctions on Iran, pleaded guilty in the case last October and cooperated with prosecutors. He testified against Atilla.
Atilla’s lawyers sought to dismiss all charges last December, citing insufficient evidence. They said prosecutors were unable to prove Atilla had a connection with the crimes committed by Sarraf.
But on Jan. 3, Atilla was found guilty by a jury on five counts related to conspiracy and bank fraud but was acquitted of money laundering.
A month later, a New York judge turned down a request by Atilla to acquit him of all charges due to lack of evidence, saying there was “sufficient evidence” to support the charges.
Atilla will be sentenced on April 11. If he receives a sentence in line with the request by prosecutors, defense lawyers plan to appeal.
Related news releases
- 26.04.2018US not seeking to reopen Iran nuclear deal, envoy says
- 26.04.2018U.S. probing Huawei for possible Iran sanctions violations
- 25.04.2018Senate confirms new director of National Security Agency
- 25.04.2018US urges all sides in Armenia to engage constructively on transition of power
- 25.04.2018Trump and France's Macron seek new measures on Iran as deadline looms
- 25.04.2018US: 2 officers, 1 civilian shot in Texas
- 25.04.2018Venezuelan refugees in Colombia exceed one million
- 24.04.2018US defense official comments on relations with Russia
- 24.04.2018Terrorism is likely motive behind Toronto van attack: U.S. source
- 24.04.2018Driver kills 10, injures 15 plowing van into Toronto sidewalk crowd
- 24.04.2018France's Macron visits Trump as Iran nuclear deal hangs in balance
- 24.04.2018At least nine dead in Nicaragua protests, U.S. curbs embassy services
- 24.04.2018U.S. allies press Trump to keep Iran nuclear deal alive
- 24.04.2018Mattis says he is optimistic North Korea talk will be 'fruitful'
- 22.04.2018One killed, six injured in overnight shooting in San Francisco
- 21.04.2018At least three dead, including police officer, in Nicaragua protests
- 21.04.2018Trump, France's Macron to discuss Iran nuclear deal next week
- 21.04.2018State Dept reveals content of US under secretary meeting with Russian ambassador
- 21.04.2018Russia calls for greater UN presence in Syria
- 20.04.2018US president slams cartel OPEC over high oil prices
- 20.04.2018Time reveals 100 Most Influential People for 2018
- 20.04.2018Man linked to 9/11 attacks on U.S. captured in Syria
- 20.04.2018No intent to change Syria's strategic balance: Pentagon
- 20.04.2018Trudeau says recognizes NAFTA timeline, will stick up for Canada
- 20.04.2018Russian diplomat calls on US to show readiness for constructive dialogue
- 20.04.2018US State Dept warns Turkey of possible sanctions over S-400 purchase
- 19.04.2018Steven Seagal has no plans to visit Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh
- 19.04.2018Trump: US taking care of Cuba following election of new president
- 19.04.2018Trump: Battle between US forces, Russian nationals in Syria month ago 'sad'
- 19.04.2018Trump, Japan's Abe agree to intensify trade talks
- 18.04.2018Castro nears retirement as Cuban president; successor proposed
- 18.04.2018Pompeo visits North Korea, forms 'good relationship with Kim', says Trump
- 18.04.2018Mike Pompeo, CIA chief, met with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un
- 18.04.2018US, allies to be unable to dislodge Assad
- 18.04.2018Former First Lady Barbara Bush dies at the age of 92
- 17.04.2018Top NAFTA officials to meet in Washington Thursday
- 17.04.2018US-led coalition ready to share data with Russia on İSİL in Syria’s Abu Kamal
- 17.04.2018Syria says missiles fired at air base intercepted; Pentagon denies involvement
- 17.04.2018Trump administration delays new sanctions on Russia: official
- 17.04.2018U.S., Britain blame Russia for global cyber attack
- 05.04.2018Pentagon rejects US plan to leave Syria as 'rumors'
- 06.04.2018UN SC discusses alleged poisoning attack against Skripal
- 06.04.2018Earthquake rattles Los Angles area in Southern California
- 05.04.2018US blames UN for spike in chemical weapons attacks
- 05.04.2018US approves $5B in weapons sales to 3 EU countries
- 05.04.2018Facebook says data leak hits 87 million users, widening privacy scandal