Mon, 05 Dec 2022

WASHINGTON, D.C.: A Turkish businessman, Sezgin Baran Korkmaz, has been extradited from Austria to the United States to face money laundering and wire fraud charges, the U.S. Justice Department has announced.

Korkmaz was escorted to the United States by the U.S. Marshals Service.

Officials charged Korkmaz with laundering over $133 million in illegal proceeds in the United States, transferring the money from bank accounts in Turkey and Luxembourg, the Justice Department said.

If found guilty, Korkmaz faces could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison on each count of money laundering conspiracy, wire fraud and obstruction, the Justice Department said.

U.S. prosecutors say the money was collected in a fraudulent scheme involving the filing of false claims for more than $1 billion in renewable biodiesel fuel tax credits by Utah-based Washakie Renewable Energy LLC.

Korkmaz and his partners are said to have used the proceeds from the scheme to buy the Turkish airline Borajet, hotels in Turkey and Switzerland, a yacht named the "Queen Anne" and a villa and an apartment on the Bosphorus in Istanbul, the Justice Department said.

With the assistance of the Lebanon government, the U.S. took possession of the Queen Anne yacht in 2021 and later sold it for $10.11 million.

Korkmaz was apprehended in June 2021 in Austria, at the request of the U.S. Justice Department.

He is also being sought by Turkey for money laundering offenses.

More Beijing News

Access More

Sign up for Beijing News

a daily newsletter full of things to discuss over drinks.and the great thing is that it's on the house!