The former head of international banking at Turkiye Halk Bankasi AS lost an appeal of his conviction for aiding an Iranian plot to evade sanctions and launder $1 billion in oil revenue through the U.S. financial system.
Mehmet Hakan Atilla was found guilty by a federal jury in Manhattan in 2018 and served most of a 32-month sentence before returning to Turkey. A federal appeals court in New York on Monday upheld his conviction. The court found that, while the trial judge gave an instruction to the jury that was partially incorrect, there was “overwhelming” evidence on an alternative theory of guilt.
Government-owned Halkbank faces related charges of evading U.S. sanctions in Manhattan federal court. That case may come to trial as early as next year.
The case is U.S. v. Atilla, 18-01589, Second U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals (Manhattan).
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