US Seeks to Extradite Turkish Businessman Over Fraud Charges

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Tuesday June 22, 2021 - 11:52:31 in Articles by Hadhwanaag News
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    US Seeks to Extradite Turkish Businessman Over Fraud Charges

    "Korkmaz, it said, was arrested in Austria on Saturday at the department's request"

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"Korkmaz, it said, was arrested in Austria on Saturday at the department's request"

WASHINGTON - The United States willseekto extradite a Turkishbusinessmanfrom Austria so he can appear before aU.S. judge in Utah, where he is facing charges of conspiring to commit money laundering and wire fraud, the U.S. Justice Department said on Monday.


Sezgin Baran Korkmaz laundered more than $133 million in fraud proceeds through bank accounts that he controlled in Turkey and Luxembourg, the Justice Department said in a statement.


Lis Dairy

Korkmaz, it said, was arrested in Austria on Saturday at the department’s request, following the unsealing of asupersedingindictmentcharging him with conspiracy to commit money laundering, wire fraud and obstruction of an official proceeding.


Reuters was notimmediatelyable toidentifyKorkmaz’s lawyers for comment.


Thebusinessmanis also being investigated by Turkey, where prosecutors in December detained 10 executives working at Korkmaz’s companies, after Turkey’s Financial Crimes Investigation Board (MASAK) said the companies were used for money laundering, Turkish state-news agency Anadolu reported.


The Turkish ambassador to Austria told Dogan News agency on Sunday that Korkmaz was detained on Saturday in atownabout 260 kilometers(160 miles) from Vienna and that Turkeyhadinitiatedan extradition process with Austrian authorities.


The Turkish Foreign Ministry did not return a call for comment.

It was notimmediatelyclear where Korkmaz would be extradited. He is believed to have left Turkey in December before the police raids.


U.S. prosecutors say the fraud proceeds stemmed from a scheme involving the filing of false claims for more than$1 billionin renewable fuel tax credits for the production and sale of biodiesel by Utah-based Washakie Renewable Energy LLC.


Washakie could notimmediatelybe reached for comment.

Korkmaz and co-conspiratorsallegedly usedthe proceeds from the scheme to buy the Turkish airlineBorajet, 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.


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