Cryptocurrency Turcoin’s company dupes people in “ponzi scheme”
Cryptocurrency scams are on the rise and Turkey is the latest to be hit by a crypto Ponzi scheme. Turcoin had raised quite a hue and cry online after being presented as new alternative digital token for Turkey. Thereby calling itself the national digital currency. The coin’s sales began in October 2017, now it’s declared a Ponzi scheme after the company’s founders fled the country. They are supposed to have duped over 10,000 people of Turkish Lira [TL] 100 million. Earlier in February, Turkish lawmakers were looking to launch a national cryptocurrency.
The Turkish Minute reports that the absconders have stolen funds amounting to TL 100 million. However another news agency called the Ahval News reports that the amount stolen is 1 billion Turkish liras. Their statement read, “Executives of a Cyprus-based company which introduced Turkey’s first cryptocurrency fled the country with 1 billion Turkish liras.” 1 billion Turkish Lira amounts to around $212 million.
An Istanbul based company called Hipper launched the altcoin last year. The company was founded by Muhammed Satıroğlu and Sadun Kaya claiming that Turcoin would be the ‘national cryptocurrency’. However, the Turkish government never accepted it.
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The token became especially famous after the company delivered luxury cars to early adopters and threw lavish parties. The parties to promote the digital currency was attended by several Turkish celebrities. An early investor told the Hürriyet daily,
“Some of the cars were really given away and some of them were there only for show to persuade more people to join the system.”
They even had a pyramid scheme where people would be incentivized for each new person they sign up. The members stopped receiving dividends from the company in early June, several of them even called its center in Istanbul. But when no one answered, it raised suspicion. Moreover its growth had stopped, and people started getting more suspicious.
Partner changes tune
One of the partners who owned 49 percent of Hipper, Satıroğlu said,
“I was only a mediator. Our company Hipper does not even have a single dollar in the bank. All the money went to Sadun Kaya’s company in Cyprus.”
Members have filed a criminal case against Kaya, who holds 51 percent of the company. They have accused him of fleeing the country with TL 100 million.
Can Okar tweeted,
“In the least surprising news of the day, it turns out Turcoin, the Turkish cryptocurrency, was a Ponzi scheme. It’s founders have apparently disappeared with around $200m. That was more than predictable – it was a certainty.”
“They actually ran TV adverts. Incredible chutzpah.”
In reply, another twitter user Arieh Kovler tweeted,
“That’s terrible. And the added credibility of TV probably drew in thousands of naive ‘investors’”
Image via Bitcoin Exchange Guide
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