The launch of the Turkish cryptocurrency Turcoin turned out to be a pyramid scheme. It was revealed after one of its founders has disappeared with millions of dollars of investors.
Turcoin was positioned as “national alternative digital currency”. The issue of cryptocurrencies was initiated by the Istanbul company Hipper, which last year created Satiroglu Muhammad (Muhammed Satıroğlu) and the Sadun Kaya (Sadun Kaya).
They started a massive marketing campaign to promote the coins and organized lavish parties, which were attended by many Turkish celebrities. The hype about cryptocurrencies were added when the company in October last year presented a luxury car to several early investors.
“Some cars were really given, but some of them were there just for show, to convince more people to join the system,” said one of the early investors.
The company promised investors monthly income of 250 Turkish Lira (TRY) on investments 1,500 a TRY. The business model resembled a classic pyramid scheme, as the company rewarded existing investors, which attracted new members.
Suspicions about this business model grew over time, and as usual in such cases, were confirmed when the company from the beginning of June stopped paying bonuses. Office telephones Hipper ceased to answer calls, and the attempts of investors to contact the firm’s management were in vain. It is noteworthy that the group of investors who filed a complaint to the Prosecutor, joined by one of the founders of Hipper.
“I was only the middleman. Our company Hipper, not even one dollar in the Bank. All the money went to the company Sadun Kaye in Cyprus,” explained Mohammed Satiroglu, which owned 49% of the company.
Turkish media have been divided in their assessment caused investors harm. Some publications write that the Sadun Kaya fled the country, taking 100 million TRY ($21.2 million), the other is called the amount is much more — TRY 1 billion or $212 million
In the latter case, this fraud could become one of the largest in the industry. We will remind that earlier in Vietnam, the organizers of the fraudulent ICO fled the country with $660 million of investor funds.