Prosecutors allege that Serhat Gumrukçu, a co-founder of Enochian BioSciences, arranged to have a business associate who threatened to expose him as a fraud killed, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Gumrukçu was arrested and charged in late May for his alleged involvement in 2018 death of a Vermont man, Gregory Davis, as Endpoint News reported at the time. In a statement then, the Department of Justice described the killing as a murder-for-hire case.
The Journal now reports that authorities suspect Gumrukçu may have misrepresented himself and his credentials and may have been involved in fraudulent medical and investment dealings. The Journal notes that shortly after Davis's death, Serhat Gumrukçu pleaded guilty to passing bad checks in connection with a real estate deal that allegedly never took place.
It additionally reports that Davis's widow told investigators that Davis was involved in an oil deal with Gumrukçu and his brother, Murat Gumrukçu, as investors, but no longer trusted the pair. The Journal says investigators believe Davis threatened to reveal fraudulent bank documentation from the deal, which was "a strong motive to prevent Davis from reporting yet another fraud, and likely threatening the Enochian deal," as a court filing says.
Enochian tells the Journal that Gumrukçu never had a formal role at the company and is no longer a scientific advisor to it. During a court hearing, an attorney for Gumrukçu said "there is no case" against his client, according to the Journal.