Austria extradites Turkish businessman to US

Austria extradites Turkish businessman to US
Update: 16 July 2022 14:01
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Sezgin Baran Korkmaz was indicted with money laundering and wire fraud in both the US and Turkey

Austria extradited on Friday a Turkish businessman to the US who was prosecuted with charges of money laundering and wire fraud, VOA Turkish reported.

Sezgin Baran Korkmaz fled Turkey but was arrested in a holiday resort in Austria last year. An Austrian court accepted extradition requests from both the US and Turkey but gave the priority to the US.

Korkmaz arrived in Utah accompanied by US marshalls, the security force of the U.S. Department of Justice, according to VOA Turkish.

Korkmaz was indicted in Salt Lake City, Utah, with laundering more than $133 million in illegal proceeds through bank accounts he controlled in Turkey and Luxembourg, a statement from the Justice Department said. 

According to an April 2021 superseding indictment, the proceeds relate to a scheme to defraud the U.S. Treasury by filing false claims for more than $1 billion in tax credits allegedly for the production and sale of biodiesel by their company, the statement said. 

Korkmaz and his co-conspirators allegedly used the biofuel fraud proceeds to acquire luxury homes and assets, as well as businesses such as Biofarma, the Turkish airline Borajet, a yacht named the Queen Anne, a hotel in Turkey and a villa and apartment on the Bosporus in Istanbul.

If convicted, Korkmaz faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for each count of money laundering conspiracy, wire fraud and obstruction of an official proceeding.