Thirty-two people suspected of involvement in a $2.6 billion banking fraud went on trial in Tehran on Saturday.
The record embezzlement case revolves around forged documents allegedly used by the directors of the Amir Mansour Arya Investment Company to secure loans to purchase state-owned companies under the government's privatization program. Seven state-owned banks have also been implicated in the scandal that reportedly began in 2007 but only came to light last September.
The defendants included Amir Mansour Aria, the managing partner of the investment company. The former CEO of Bank Melli, Iran's largest government-owned bank, fled to Canada after the embezzlement scandal was exposed last year.
The Central Bank of Iran's Deputy Director Hamid Pourmohammadi is the highest government official that has been arrested so far reportedly on charges of lax supervision of the state-owned banks implicated in the embezzlement scandal.