0219 GMT May 27, 2020
The couple – Najva Lasheidaei and her husband Vahid Behzadi – have been sentenced on charges of major disruption to the country’s monetary and currency system, currency smuggling, disrupting the system of distribution of commodities by purchasing more than 6,700 cars from an Iranian carmaker, and money laundering, the Judiciary’s spokesman Gholamhossein Esmaeili said.
Authorities also confiscated 24,700 gold coins and 100 kilograms of gold from the couple who had bought 6,700 cars from one of top two automakers of the country. Over the past few weeks, car prices in Iran have been skyrocketing.
Under Iranian law, the couple can appeal the verdicts within 20 days. Their lawyers were not reachable for comment.
In connection to the automobile company’s charges, the court separately sentenced lawmakers Fereidoun Ahmadi and Mohammad Azizi to five years in prison each for "disrupting the country's car market".
Mehdi Jamali, a former CEO of Saipa, was also sentenced to seven years in prison for involvement in disruption to distribution mechanisms.
The court also sentenced former deputy head of the carmaker’s marketing department to 15 years in prison.
Since August 2018, Iran’s Judiciary has been holding public trials of individuals involved in major economic corruption cases.
Leader of the Islamic Revolution Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei has permitted the Judiciary to take special measures in order to confront economic corruption.
Tasnim News Agency and AP contributed to this story.