(Bloomberg) -- Denizbank AS’s top executives are being probed in connection with a high-profile fraud case involving prominent footballers, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said.
Erdogan — speaking in an interview with a group of journalists on his way back from the United Arab Emirates — didn’t identify the nature of the investigation or provide any names.
Court documents this week revealed that a Denizbank branch manager orchestrated a $44 million Ponzi scheme, enticing famous footballers — including former players from Barcelona and Inter Milan — with promises of unrealistic returns on their investments. Bags of cash were handed to the manager, but as the investments grew rapidly, repayments became unsustainable, leading to the unraveling of the scheme.
“Turkey is a state of law,” Erdogan said. “Investigations are currently ongoing regarding the top executives of the bank.”
Denizbank — a local unit of Emirates NBD Bank PJSC — did not immediately respond to a request for comment when reached at the weekend. The bank earlier said it was unaware of these transactions until a customer complaint in April and initial investigations by prosecution showed no banking crime was committed.
The case, detailed in court documents, outlined clandestine dealings involving stacks of cash exchanged at inconspicuous locations, shedding light on an operation that ensnared unsuspecting investors.
“Our citizens should not fall into the traps of fraudsters who offer high profits in a short time with the promise of easy money,” Erdogan said.
Read More: Ponzi Scheme Promising 250% Return Ensnares Turkish Soccer Stars
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