The spokesman for the Iranian judiciary said Babak Zanjani and two other people accused in the oil fraud case have been sentenced to death.

Babak Zanjani

Babak Zanjani

Gholamhossein Mohseni Ejei told reporters on March 6: “Babak Zanjani and the two other accused in this matter have all three been found guilty of corruption on earth and given the death penalty.”

The accused must also pay cash fines for money laundering and return funds to the Ministry of Oil, the chief complainant in the case.

Earlier reports identify Hamid Fallah Heravi and Mehdi Shams as the other two accused.

Iranian tycoon Babak Zanjani was arrested in 2013 for failing to repay an eight-trillion-touman debt to the oil ministry.

Zanjani said before his arrest that since 2010, he had used a network of more than 60 companies to sell Iranian crude as a go-between for the Iranian government and made 17.5 billion dollars for himself.

Zanjani’s brokering of Iranian oil was carried out under the Mahmoud Ahmadinejad government, when international sanctions prevented the overt sale of Iranian crude.

He has been quoted as saying that everything he has done has been in the service of the Islamic Republic.

Meanwhile the minister of justice has said that Zanjani’s cooperation in returning his debts may effect a change in his sentence.

Babak Zanjani is blacklisted by the EU and the U.S. Treasury for his efforts to circumvent international sanctions.