Singer Ebru Gündeş, the wife of Turkish Iranian gold trader Reza Zarrab, who is jailed in the United Stated for facilitating a scheme to evade US sanctions against Iran, has been ordered to pay some the debt Zarrab left behind in Turkey.
According to the DHA news agency, the management of a villa complex in İstanbul’s Büyükçekmece district sued Zarrab for unpaid dues in the amount of 25,000 Turkish lira. He reportedly owns over 40 villas in the complex.
Since Zarrab is not in Turkey, an assessment notice was sent to his wife, who objected, stating that she and her husband have no funds in common and that his debt cannot be collected from her.
Zarrab in 2017 reached a plea deal with US federal prosecutors and cooperated in a case that implicated Turkey’s state-owned Halkbank in Iranian sanctions evasion.
In 2013, Zarrab was the main suspect of a major corruption investigation in Turkey that implicated the sons of two ministers. Zarrab was accused of paying large bribes to Turkey’s ministers and bureaucrats in return for their help in evading Iran sanctions.
Following a short prison sentence in Turkey, he was released as then-Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan aborted due process and called Zarrab a businessman who was known for his donations to good causes.