Ex-McKinsey Consultant Banki Won’t Serve More Prison Time

Mahmoud Reza Banki, the former McKinsey & Co. consultant whose conviction for violating a trade embargo with Iran was partly reversed, won’t serve any more time in prison.

Banki, who had been confined for 22 months since his arrest in January 2010, was sentenced to no prison and no supervised release at a hearing today before U.S. District Judge Paul Engelmayer in Manhattan. Banki was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine for the remaining two counts of making false statements about money transfers he received from Iran.

Engelmayer agreed with Banki’s request that he be sentenced to no prison time, rather than to the time he had served. Prosecutors and Banki’s lawyers agreed that federal sentencing guidelines called for zero to six months.

“Throughout the 22 months of my incarceration I watched my life go by,” Banki told Engelmayer. “Those days can never be replaced.”

In an agreement reached with the U.S. last month, prosecutors agreed not to retry Banki on counts of violating the Iran trade embargo, operating an unlicensed money-transfer business and conspiracy to commit those crimes, which were reversed by the federal appeals court in New York.

‘Hawala’ Charge

Iran-born Banki, a naturalized U.S. citizen, was initially sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison following a jury trial in New York. He was accused of running a “hawala,” or informal money transfer business, that moved money to and from Iran in violation of the U.S. embargo.

As part of his deal with the government, he agreed to forfeit about $710,000.

“Mr. Banki is gratified that the court has changed his sentence from 30 months to zero, and no probation,” his lawyer, Christine Chung, said in an e-mail after the hearing. “He will not gain back the 22 months he spent in prison before the appeals court spoke, but he has finally obtained a measure of justice.”

The case is U.S. v. Banki, 10-cr-00008, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York (Manhattan).