Prosecutors Charge Turkey's Halkbank in Sanctions Evasion Scheme

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan charged Turkish state-owned lender Halkbank with a multibillion-dollar scheme to evade U.S. sanctions on Iran, ramping up pressure on Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as he conducts a military offensive on Syria, The Wall Street Journal reported. Prosecutors say some Turkish and Iranian government officials received payouts of tens of millions of dollars in exchange for promoting and helping to conceal the alleged scheme, which occurred between 2012 and 2016. Prosecutors allege that Halkbank and its officers used money-services businesses and front companies in Iran, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and elsewhere to violate restrictions on Iran’s access to the U.S. financial system; rules governing the proceeds of Iranian oil and gas sales; and restrictions on the supply of gold to Iran. Read more