Mehmet Atilla, the senior Turkish banker who was late to the party in the Reza Zarrab Iran oil-for-gold sanctions evasion case, presently pending in US District Court in Manhattan, continues to make bad decisions, with the expected outcome. Why isn't he paying attention to the consequences ?
First, he throws in his lot with Zarrab's criminal syndicate, forging and altering banks records, to cover the tracks of a billion dollar oil sanctions evasion operation. Why did the number two man at a major Turkish state-owned bank fail to consult a competent attorney in advance of entering into that sordid conspiracy ? If he had, he would have learned that being a foreign national, and conducting sanctions evasions totally outside the United States, does not save you from indictment.
Second, after seeing the primary defendant, his client, Reza Zarrab, make the fatal mistake of entering the United States, for tourism of all things, when he knew or should have known he was exposed to being charged in America, given his extraordinary Iran-to-Turkey oil-for-gold operation, why on earth did Atilla voluntarily enter the US, on business ?
Finally, in the motion to dismiss his indictment, his attorneys chose to file the same legal arguments also advanced by Zarrab's counsel, and which failed. How can they prevail ?
Unless Mr. Atilla now makes the only intelligent decision left to him, to enter a plea, cooperate with the authorities, and end up with a sentence that he, and his family, can live with, he will face the full brunt of the steamroller that is the American criminal justice system when it targets a major violation. I suggest he change his tactics, forthwith.
Chronicles of Monte Friesner - Senior Financial Crime Analyst
Contributed by Kenneth Rijock - Financial Crime Consultant