Another cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme seems to have come to light today, after company executives of Turkey’s first cryptocurrency have reportedly fled the country with 1 billion Turkish Lira - $211 million worth - of defrauded funds.
According to reports in local media, the Istanbul-based company - Hipper Inc. - conned thousands of victims out of the funds through the launch and sale of its national-themed cryptocurrency Turcoin.
Launched as a “rival to global virtual currency bitcoin,” by Mehmet Aydın and Sadun Kaya, the company garnered attention by involving Turkish celebrities in the cryptocurrency’s launch, and in October last year by giving away expensive Mercedes to early adopters.
Although reports seem to differ regarding the precise nature of the alleged scheme, it seems that the company had promised clients a monthly income of 250 Turkish Lira for an investment of 1500 TL, and annual income of around 3000 TL, before executives fled the country with the proceeds.
With Kaya and Aydin accused of fleeing the country with much of the proceeds, the other Hipper Inc. partner - Muhammed Satiroglu - claims not have been party to the fraud - remarking:
“I have not fled with the money. I will return all the money to the members if authorities unblock my bank accounts,” Satıroğlu told Hürriyet Daily News, adding:
“Actually they are the ones who are involved in serious corruption.”
This latest scheme seems seems to confirm the almost weekly trend of major cryptocurrency scams - with authorities in Phillipines recently arresting eight suspects in a similar ponzi-like scheme - although some reports suggest the suspects were subsequently released.