Turkey, World

FETO's top coup plotter made suspicious Clinton donation

Adil Oksuz donated $5,000 to Clinton two years ago via a fictitious company, USA Today report says

24.08.2016
FETO's top coup plotter made suspicious Clinton donation

Washington DC

By Esra Kaymak Avci 

WASHINGTON

One of the high-ranking members of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO) is central to a group of suspicious 2014 contributions to a super PAC that supports the Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, it has emerged.

Adil Oksuz, an assistant professor in the faculty of theology at Sakarya University in Turkey, is currently among the wanted leading members of FETO, according to Turkish authorities.

FETO and its U.S. based leader, Fetullah Gulen are the mastermind of a recent failed coup attempt, according to Turkish authorities.

Oksuz was found the night of the defeated coup attempt July 15 at Ankara’s Akinci 4th Main Jet Base and released after a brief interrogation by judges Koksal Celik and Cetin Sonmez.

However, Oksuz later became known as one of the top 15 putsch attempt plotters and an arrest warrant was reissued. He was the "imam [leader] of the Air Force", according to Turkish authorities.

Oksuz disappeared after his release and has still not been found amid Turkey's ongoing hunt.

According to a recent report by the USA Today newspaper, Oksuz was not only one of the top suspects behind the coup attempt but also a suspicious Clinton donor.

The report said Oksuz created a "fictitious" company called Harmony Enterprises in 2014 and made a $5,000 donation to the "Ready for Hillary PAC" on June 27, 2014.

Ready for Hillary PAC is a type of independent expenditure-only committee, collecting money from several corporations and individuals preparing for Clinton's presidential campaign, according to its website.

USA Today said Oksuz registered the company in 2010 in New Jersey and that the $5,000 is the only campaign donation the company has ever made.

It also said the company's website claims that it was a paper manufacturing business company, although the address of the company listed on the state corporate records, does actually belong to a used car lot in Lodi, New Jersey.

By U.S. law, foreigners cannot make donations to campaigns in the U.S., whereas foreign-owned companies are allowed to if they are using U.S. generated profits.

Apart from the donation that Oksuz made on behalf of Harmony Enterprises, a half-dozen of the donations made on that same day -- June 27, 2014 -- to Ready PAC were from Turkish-Americans in and around Lodi, the report says. It adds that the total amount of the donations by these Turkish-Americans was $62,000.

"Much of that money came from companies that no longer exist or may have never existed, or from donors who cannot be located, campaign and corporate records show," USA Today said.

Large sums of Gulen-linked donations were also made to Clinton Global Initiative, it said. In one case, Recep Ozkan, former head of Gulen-affiliated Turkish Cultural Center, donated between $500,000 and $1 million, while making a separate donation of $20,000 to Ready PAC, said the daily.

According to USA Today, the Gulen-linked Turkish-Americans have provided hundreds of thousands of dollars in suspicious donations to political campaigns in the U.S.

"The donations often arrive in groups of 5 to 10 high-dollar contributions from first-time political donors whose employment declarations provide no evidence they can afford the checks they are writing," USA Today said.

According to the media outlet, this pattern was used during Oksuz's PAC donation and other suspicious donations as well.

One of the FETO members who made a donation the same day as Oksuz, was another business, "Under 70 Auto Sales”, in Lodi, which also used a car lot's address like in Oksuz’s case. That company's owner, Abdulhadi Yildirim donated $7,500 to Ready PAC the same day as Oksuz.

Yildirim is Oksuz's brother-in-law who lives in the U.S., according to Turkish media reports.

The news outlet also found that the land records of Bergen County -- where Lodi is located -- showed Yildirim also owned a company called Sansun USA LLC which sold a car lot for $510,000 the day before the donations were made. That was the car lot he showed as his business's address while making the donation.

According to the research of USA Today, the Gulen-linked companies, which made the donations, had disconnected telephones and emails, which goes to show that the companies might be "fictitious".

The report comes more than one month after the July 15 coup attempt, where around 26,000 Gulen-linked suspects have been arrested across Turkey. Senior business figures as well as military, police, judges, prosecutors and teachers have been among those targeted.

At least 240 people were martyred in the coup attempt and nearly 2,200 people were injured.

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