Pilatus Bank owner goes on trial in New York

Ali sadr

Tista' taqra bil- Malti.

Owner of the now defunct Pilatus Bank Ali Sadr Hasheminejad will go on trial before the court of the Southern District of New York where he stands accused of having breached United States sanctions against Iran, this week.

Sadr Hasheminejad was arrested in March 2018 at Dulles Airport, and charged with money laundering and breaching US sanctions against Iran by funnelling more than US$115 million paid under a Venezuelan construction contract through the US financial system.

Sadr Hasheminejad who obtained a St Kitts and Nevis passport, had his bank in Malta shuttered by the European Central Bank following a recommendation by the Malta Financial Services Authority.

In the list of witnesses who will testify in the trial in New York, is also the chairman and founder of Henley & Partners, Christian Kalin, former Pilatus Bank CEO Hamidreza Ghanbari, former Pilatus Bank director Mustafa Cetinel who also held a 4% stake in Stratus International Contracting, according to Turkish public records.

The indictment alleges that the Iranian International Housing Corporation which was controlled by Hasheminejad and his family contracted a Venezuelan state-owned company to build 7,000 housing units in Venezuela for approximately $476 million. The Venezuelan company paid Iranian International Housing Corporation by wire transfers in US dollars from its foreign bank accounts to Swiss bank accounts belonging to Clarity and Stratus Turkey, companies which belong to Sadr’s family.

Some $115 million in payments were made between 2011 and 2013.