On May 24, 2014 Iran shocked the world by executing one of the richest men in the world, billionaire businessman Mahafarid Amir Khosravi.
At the time of Khosravi’s death, his net worth exceeded US$1 billion making him the richest man in Iran and one of the richest people in the world.
What crime did Khosravi commit that led to his execution in 2014?
Khosravi and his associates were sentenced to death in July 2012 after they were convicted of embezzlement, money laundery, and bribery in the biggest bank fraud ever to have occurred in Iran. Khosravi was reportedly the mastermind behind the fraud which cost Iranian banks nearly $2.6 billion.
According to reports, Khosravi’s fraudulent activities started as far back as 2007 when he started forging documents which he used to get billions of dollars in loans from several banks in Iran – including Iran’s biggest bank, Bank Saderat. Khosravi then used the loans he obtained fraudulently to purchase state-owned assets. One of the numerous state-owned companies that Khosravi purchased was Iran’s biggest steel producing company, Khuzestan Steel Company.
Khosravi’s fraudulent activities were exposed in 2011 and an investigation into the fraudulent loans he obtained was instantly launched.
At the end of the investigation, Khosravi was charged with being “corrupt on earth”. According to Iranian law, anyone found guilty of being “corrupt on earth” is an enemy of God and anyone found guilty of being an enemy of God faces the death penalty. In July 2012, Khosravi and four of his cohorts involved in the biggest bank fraud ever in Iran received the death penalty.
Over 30 others were convicted for fraud in the scandal and received various sentences, ranging from several years in prison to life imprisonment.
On May 24, 2014, Khosravi was executed by hanging at the Evin Prison in Tehran after Iran’s Supreme Court dismissed an appeal to stop the death sentence.
According to Khosravi’s lawyer, Gholam Ali Riahi, authorities at the Evin Prison in Tehran did not give him any prior information about the execution of his client.
The lawyer said he was only aware of his client’s execution after it was broadcast on the news.
It’s worth noting that the then-President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who was a close friend of Khosravi, was questioned by investigators during their investigation in order to find out whether Khosravi was supported by the president during the embezzlement scheme. Investigators were unable to prove any connection between Khosravi and President Ahmadinejad.