TURKISH NATIONAL, GIRAY BIYIKLIOGLU, CONVICTED OF WIRE FRAUD, AGGRAVATED IDENTITY THEFT, TAX, AND MONEY LAUNDERING CHARGES
GIRAY BIYIKLIOGLU, aka “Johnny Bryan,”, age 30, a Turkish national and resident of New Orleans, was convicted yesterday in federal court of 40 counts of wire fraud, aggravated identity thefts, tax fraud and money laundering, announced U.S. Attorney Kenneth Allen Polite, Jr.
According to court documents and the court proceedings, BIYIKLIOGLU devised a scheme to defraud PayPal, Inc. using PayPal accounts he had fraudulently set up in the names of other persons. As proven at trial, the defendant wired funds from bank accounts in his name, through the fraudulent PayPal accounts, and then back to bank accounts in his name. The trial evidence further showed that the defendant then falsely claimed to the original banks that the wire transfers he had initiated to PayPal were unauthorized. These false claims caused the banks to debit PayPal and credit the defendant’s original bank accounts. According to the evidence adduced at trial, the defendant in fact maintained control over all funds throughout the scheme.
The aggravated identity theft charges stemmed from the BIYIKLIOGLU’s use of the personal information of six victims in furtherance of his wire fraud scheme. The defendant was also convicted of two counts of tax evasion for tax years 2010 and 2011. The jury convicted BIYIKLIOGLU of money laundering for using fraud proceeds to purchase a several motorcycles and a jet ski. Finally, BIYIKLIOGLU was convicted of thirteen counts of money laundering for concealing the proceeds of the wire fraud scheme and two counts of money laundering for wiring fraud proceeds to a bank in Turkey.
“Biyiklioglu stole the identities of innocent victims to finance his own lavish lifestyle,” stated U.S. Attorney Kenneth Allen Polite, Jr. “Yesterday’s jury verdict ensures that he will be brought to justice for defrauding these individuals and several financial institutions as part of his scheme.”
“Individuals who use stolen identities to commit crimes must be prosecuted for their actions,” stated Gabriel Grchan, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation. “We thank the jury for their service during this trial and promise that IRS-CI will continue to work with the Department of Justice to stop identity theft.”
BIYIKLIOGLU faces the following terms of imprisonment:
- Counts 1-13 (wire fraud) – maximum term of 20 years imprisonment per count;
- Counts 14-20 (aggravated identity theft) – mandatory term of 2 years imprisonment per count, to be served consecutively;
- Counts 21-22 (tax evasion) – maximum term of 5 years imprisonment per count; and
- Count 23-25 and 27-41 (money laundering) – maximum term of 20 years imprisonment per count.
The jury also ordered BIYIKLIOGLU to forfeit bank accounts worth $85,919.77, a Ducati Diavel motorcycle, a Kawasaki jet ski and a jet ski trailer. Sentencing is scheduled for February 25, 2014, before U.S. District Judge Jay C. Zainey.
The case was investigated by Special Agents of the United States Secret Service and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorneys Dorothy Manning Taylor and Chandra Menon and Trial Attorney Hayden Brockett of the U.S. Department of Justice, Tax Division.
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud from a person or an organization soliciting relief funds on behalf of storm victims or have knowledge of waste, abuse, or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud toll free at: (866) 720-5721. You can also fax information to: (225) 334-4707 or e-mail it to: firstname.lastname@example.org