Regarding the recent filings, made by lawyers for Mehmet Atilla, the Turkish banker accused of working with Reza Zarrab to illegally move petrodollars to Iran,The US Attorney's Office has contested their statement of facts, their client's role, and his most likely sentence. In a 25-page memorandum of law, all the points made by defense counsel were rebutted. This matter is being debated, in the context of Atilla's bond application; he is being held in pretrial confinement at this time, and his attorneys a pushing for his release.
The response can be summarized thus:
(1) Atilla, by misrepresenting that payments to Iran were for humanitarian goods, such as food, which were permitted, had a major role in Zarrab's scheme to sell Iranian oil, on the world market, in defiance of international, and American, sanctions, thereby defrauding USA banks.
(2) Due to the charges filed against him, Atilla is not facing a mere five years, for IEEPA violations, but a Guidelines sentence of from 21 to 24 years, and a potential 30 years.
(3) Due to the seriousness of the offense, the weight of the evidence against him, and the history of this defendant, he cannot be characterized as a minor player, whose case should even be considered for bond. he has every reason to flee, if released. Additionally, he misrepresented his income and assets, minimizing his ability to live in Turkey, if he flees the US.
(4) There is simply no combination of factors, in the defendant's bail package, which would guarantee that he will be present for trial.
Given what appear to be the objective facts in the case, Atilla's release on bond appears doubtful, and he may have lost some credibility with the Court, due to his statement of facts, versus the truth.
Chronicles of Monte Friesner - Financial Crime Analyst
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock - Financial Crime Consultant