Ponzi scheme founder arrested

Ponzi scheme founder arrested

Ponzi scheme founder arrested

A court in Istanbul has ordered the arrest of Mehmet Aydın, the founder of the online Çiftlik Bank (Farm Bank) Ponzi scheme.

Aydın, 29, surrendered to the Turkish Consulate in Sao Paulo, Brazil and was arrested at the Istanbul Airport as soon as he landed on July 3.

He had been interrogated by the police, and on July 7 Aydın appeared before the court in Istanbul which ordered his arrest.

In his statement to the police, Aydın said that he decided to turn himself in when he read news in the media suggesting that the victims of the Çiftlik Bank scam suffered 64 million Turkish Liras (around $7.4 million) in losses because “the assets of the Çiftlik Bank companies are around 200 million liras.”

“So, I thought I could compensate for those people’s losses and I turned myself in,” Aydın said in the statement.

However, the 64 million lira is the losses of only 3,700 victims implicated in the indictment. There are possibly thousands of other people, who had not yet formally filed complaints against him. Thus, the total payment to the victims could be much higher. Besides, Çiftlik Bank and related companies have more than 400 million liras in tax debt.

Aydın, who was also sought by an Interpol red notice at Turkey’s request, is accused of various crimes, including founding a criminal organization and fraud and may face up to 75,260 years in prison.

He launched the online scheme in 2016, inspired by the FarmVille social media game. After complaints by thousands of users, a red notice was issued in March 2018 but Aydin disappeared and had been at large for the last two years.