A number of curious filings thus week in the Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad involved with the Pilatus Bank (Malta) case, in US District Court in New York, raises a number of questions. Look at these docket entries and see if you can make heads or tails out of it:
(1) the last six documents in the case were all filed under seal. Why so many sealed filings so early on in the case? These could be sealed indictments of additional defendants who are outside the United States, and not in custody. They could be also sealed due to national security reasons involving Iran.
(2) The court has rescheduled the Status Conference for mid-July, a delay of thirty days, "in the Interests of Justice," a phrase which is often used to grant additional time to cooperating defendants, so that their cooperation can further be exploited.
It is important to remember that he is charged with funnelling more than $115m, paid under a Venezuelan construction contract, through the US financial system, for the benefit of Iranian individuals and entities. It is a major sanctions evasions case, and Nejad certainly has first-hand information about the pipelines through which Iran has, for years, moved billions of dollars through the US financial system, details of corruption at the highest levels, in Malta, where he effortlessly obtained a banking license, notwithstanding his and his family's background in sanctioned entities.
The other question is whether the Substantial Assistance being rendered by the kingpin of Iran sanctions evaders, Reza Zarrab, was instrumental in obtaining the indictment against Nejad. Do these cases intersect, and if so, who is next to be charged?
Chronicles of Monte Friesner - Financial Crime Analyst
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock - Financial Crime Consultant