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Halkbank's Atilla Wins Leniency From Judge Over Iran Plot

  • Atilla sentenced to 32 months, gets credit for time served
  • Judge calls banker a ‘cog in the wheel,’ rejects long sentence
A tram and pedestrians pass a branch of Turkiye Halk Bankasi AS, or Halkbank, in Istanbul, Turkey.

Photographer: Kerem Uzel/Bloomberg

Updated on

A senior banker at one of Turkey’s largest banks got a break from a U.S. judge, who sentenced him to less than three years in prison for aiding an Iranian plot to evade sanctions and launder $1 billion in oil revenue through the U.S. financial system.

Federal prosecutors had sought a sentence of at least 15 years for Mehmet Hakan Atilla, 47. Now, with credit for good behavior and the time he spent in jail awaiting trial, Atilla could return to Turkey by the middle of next year. Atilla, who headed international banking at Turkiye Halk Bankasi AS, remains employed by the bank, according to his lawyers.