Hull City Sponsor Tomya Crypto Exchange Embroiled in Turkey Fraud Scandal

The owner of Tomya was among 25 people detained in Turkey as the country prepares new crypto legislation.

AccessTimeIconNov 29, 2023 at 3:58 p.m. UTC
Updated Jan 24, 2024 at 1:09 a.m. UTC

The Turkish crypto exchange that sponsors the once Premier League soccer team Hull City is reportedly at the heart of a high-profile fraud scandal in the country.

Yavuz Usta, the owner of exchange platform Tomya, was among 25 people detained as part of an investigation by the Istanbul Büyükçekmece Chief Public Prosecutor's Office, CoinDesk Turkey reported Wednesday.

While there are no reports of specific allegations against Tomya, the story is making headlines in Turkey because of the firm’s affiliation with Hull City, which is owned by prominent local media personality Acun Ilıcalı.

Details on the investigation are emerging as the country prepares to introduce crypto legislation. Turkey recently handed out an 11,196-year sentence to the individuals who ran Thodex – a crypto exchange that suddenly collapsed in 2021. Despite the Thodex scandal, crypto adoption in the country hasn’t shown signs of slowing down.

The investigation into Tomya was seemingly triggered by a complaint by an investor, Musa Ekmekçioğlu. He claimed he was defrauded of $211,500 by someone introduced to him by a Tomya employee. Along with Usta, a consultant who worked with Tomya for a short period was also detained, according to CoinDesk Turkey.

CoinDesk has reached out to Tomya for comment.

UPDATE (Nov. 29, 16:37 UTC): Clarifies Hull City was once in the Premier League in the leading paragraph. Now, it competes in the EFL Championship.

Edited by Sheldon Reback.


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Sandali Handagama

Sandali Handagama is CoinDesk's deputy managing editor for policy and regulations, EMEA. She does not own any crypto.