A 49-year-old Burlington County man pleaded guilty Monday in federal court in Camden to his role in an international scheme to steal millions of dollars from the U.S. Department of Defense, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Hurriyet Arslan, a resident of Willingboro and native of Turkey who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2011, conspired with foreign nationals from Turkey in 2018 to steal money from a Defense Department contract worth more than $23 million for aviation fuel that was to be supplied by a company in South Korea.
Arslan operated Deal Automotive Sales in Florence and used a bank account for that business to fraudulently receive the contract funding. He also created a shell company and opened bank accounts for that company as part of the scheme. For his participation, Arslan was to be paid $20,000, according to the indictment.
The conspirators were able to redirect the contract funding using a “phishing” ploy in which an employee of the South Korean company was fooled by fake emails into providing vital information to fraudulent web pages.
Arslan pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail, wire, and bank fraud, one county of bank fraud, and one count of money laundering. His admission was part of a plea deal. His charges carried maximum penalties of decades in prison.