Pilatus Bank: Iranian Chairman Arrested on U.S. Charges

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The Iranian chairman of the Maltese registered Pilatus Bank has been arrested on U.S. charges that he was involved in a scheme to evade U.S. sanctions and channel more than USD $115 million. This was paid under a Venezuelan construction contract through the U.S. financial system, according to the federal prosecutors.

Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad, 38, has been charged in a six-count indictment filed in federal court in Manhattan accusing him of a role in a scheme to avoid U.S. economic sanctions against Iran, prosecutors have stated.

Sadr was arrested on Monday the 19th of March in Dulles, Virginia according to the court papers with a lawyer for Sadr declining comment.

The prosecutors have stated that Sadr’s family controlled Stratus Group, which was an Iranian conglomerate that had international business operations and which resulted in a development to construct thousands of housing units in Venezuela.

According to the indictment, an Iranian business which Stratus incorporated which goes by the name Iranian International Housing Corporation entered into a USD $476 million deal in 2006 with a Venezuelan state-owned energy corporation to build 7,000 housing units.