Thanks to the efforts by the U.S. Department of Justice, the FBI, and our law enforcement partners in Austria and Lebanon, Sezgin Baran Korkmaz was apprehended in Austria, and extradited to Utah where he was indicted on charges for fraud and money laundering exceeding $133 million through his bank accounts in Turkey and Luxembourg. According to his accomplices-turned-witnesses, Korkmaz sought to defraud the U.S. Treasury by filing more than $1 billion in false tax credits related to the production and sale of biodiesel by their company, before also defrauding two of his co-conspirators eliciting millions of dollars from them for alleged protection from prosecution.
The proceeds from the fraudulent activity were allegedly used to purchase luxury homes, businesses, a Turkish airline, a yacht, a hotel in Turkey, and a villa and apartment in Istanbul. The U.S. Marshals Service continues to recover forfeiture proceeds including the acquisition of the yacht, with the assistance of authorities in Lebanon. The yacht sold earlier this year for more than $10 million.
If convicted, Korkmaz faces a minimum of 20 years in prison for each count of money laundering conspiracy, wire fraud, and obstruction of an official proceeding. IRS Criminal Investigation, the Environmental Protection Agency Criminal Investigation Division, and the Department of Defense DCIS are investigating the case. To read more, click here.