A United States jury has found Ali Sadr Hashemi Nejad guilty of 5 counts of bank fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, defrauding the United States and busting sanctions against Iran. He was not convicted on the 6th count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The verdict concerns charges related to a US$115 million scheme to illegally transfer payments for a construction project in Venezuela.

The crimes happened before Ali Sadr was licensed by the then new Labour government in 2013 to open Pilatus Bank in Malta. US prosecutors described Pilatus Bank as funded from the proceeds of Ali Sadr’s crimes in the Venezuela project.

Several participants in the Venezuela project were also directors of Pilatus Bank.

The trial will now proceed to its sentencing stage.

So far Ali Sadr has been out on bail on a guarantee worth around $38 million.

This reporting is possible thanks to the work of Matthew Russell Lee of Inner City Press.