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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Louisiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, August 19, 2014

New Orleans Man, Giray Biyiklioglu, Sentenced To 16 Years In Prison For Wire Fraud, Aggravated Identity Theft, Tax, And Money Laundering Charges

United States Attorney Kenneth Allen Polite, Jr. and Deputy Assistant Attorney General Ronald A. Cimino of the Justice Department's Tax Division announced that GIRAY BIYIKLIOGLU, a/k/a “Johnny Bryan,” age 31, a Turkish national and resident of New Orleans, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Jay C. Zainey to 192 months in prison for conducting a scheme to defraud PayPal, in which he used the names, addresses, and/or Social Security numbers of dozens of identity theft victims.  On October 31, 3013, following a four-day jury trial, BIYIKLIOGLU was convicted of thirteen counts of wire fraud, six counts of aggravated identity theft, two counts of tax evasion, and nineteen counts of money laundering, related in part to his purchases of expensive motorcycles and his wiring of fraud proceeds to his native Turkey.  The Court further ordered BIYIKLIOGLU to pay restitution of $324,551.89 and to forfeit fraud proceeds, including a Ducati motorcycle, a Kawasaki jet ski, and more than $85,919.77 in U.S. currency.

According to court documents and 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 stem from the BIYIKLIOGLU’s use of the personal information of six victims in furtherance of his wire fraud scheme. The criminal tax violations relate to BIYIKLIOGLU’s evasion of his 2010 and 2011 individual income taxes.  The money laundering charges pertain to BIYIKLIOGLU’s concealment of the fraud proceeds, including by wiring funds to Turkish banks, as well as his purchases of the motorcycles and jet ski.

“Biyiklioglu stole the identities of innocent victims to finance his own lavish lifestyle,” stated U.S. Attorney Kenneth Allen Polite, Jr.  “The sentencing imposed today ensures that he will be brought to justice for defrauding these individuals and several financial institutions as part of his scheme.”

“Mr. Biyiklioglu’s criminal conduct violated many laws, including tax evasion, identity theft, and money laundering,” stated Gabriel L. Grchan, Special Agent in Charge, IRS Criminal Investigation.   “Let his sentence serve as a warning to others considering this type of criminal activity.  Giray Biyiklioglu will not only have to serve time in federal prison, but will also be required to forfeit the fruits of his criminal enterprise.”   

The case was investigated by Special Agents of the United States Secret Service and the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation.  The case was prosecuted by Trial Attorney Hayden Brockett of the U.S. Department of Justice, Tax Division and Assistant United States Attorney Chandra Menon.

Updated November 18, 2014