What Is The $4 Billion OneCoin Crypto Scam Promoted By Ruja Ignatova, The Only Woman On FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List?
An executive of the fraudulent cryptocurrency issuer OneCoin has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money-laundering charges in a $4 billion global ponzi scheme, the US Justice Department said. The Bulgarian national was allegedly the “head of legal and compliance” for Ruja Ignatova's OneCoin which defrauded investors. Ignatova remains one of the most wanted fugitives. Here’s everything about the OneCoin scam and the latest developments.
OneCoin exec faces 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to fraud charges https://t.co/ialfFD9MoD— CoinGeek (@RealCoinGeek) November 13, 2023
Who is Irina Dilkinska?
Irina Dilkinska, a 42-year-old Bulgarian woman, was the "supposed head of legal and compliance for the OneCoin cryptocurrency pyramid scheme.” However, instead of ensuring that OneCoin complied with the laws, Dilkinska assisted in running the day-to-day fraudulent operations of the company. She laundered money for OneCoin as well. It was found in the investigation that she had arranged a transfer of fraudulently obtained OneCoin proceeds worth $110 million to a Cayman Islands entity, as per the Justice Department.
After her arrest, Dilkinska was extradited to the US to face charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering. She pleaded guilty to both counts each of which potentially carried a sentence of five years in prison.
What is the OneCoin scam?
Bulgarian businesswoman Ruja Ignatova started OneCoin in 2014. OneCoin was pitched just like any other cryptocurrency with claims that it could be mined with 120 billion coins available, and that it could be used to make payments. However, it was later found there was no OneCoin blockchain model, cryptocurrency, or any such payment system. The OneCoin is neither actively traded nor could be used to buy anything.
On top of it, the company sold plagiarised educational materials, such as courses on cryptocurrencies. The courses were found to be part of a multi-level marketing (MLM) scheme, where buyers were promised rewards for bringing in more participants.
There was also an exchange for converting OneCoin into other currencies called the OneCoin Exchange coins. However, only members who bought the company’s packages were able to access the platform.
In January 2017, the OneCoin exchange was shut down and the majority of withdrawal requests by investors were denied. It was found that OneCoin had deceived millions of investors globally, costing the victims over $4 billion, CNN reported.
MLM “Cryptoqueen,” disappeared with a fortune made through fraud and a trail of victims. https://t.co/4jcVOqFmyX— Rick Alan Ross (@RickAlanRoss) November 13, 2023
Ruja Ignatova had skilfully convinced investors in the US and around the globe to put their money into the organization, most of which was lost. Federal prosecutors deemed OneCoin as one of the largest international fraud schemes in history. The companies involved in the fraud scheme were OneCoin Ltd. and OneLife Network Ltd., both founded by Ruja Ignatova.
Where is Ruja Ignatova?
When the Bulgarian police raided the company’s office in 2018, they discovered that Ruja Ignatova had been absconding since 2017, when a warrant was filed for her arrest. Ignatova boarded a flight in Sofia, Bulgaria, and vanished, leaving the company to its co-founder, Karl Sebastian Greenwood. She has been on the run ever since and she remains the only woman on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list with a $100,000 reward.
What happened to Konstantin Ignatov and Karl Sebastian Greenwood?
After Ruja Ignatova fled, her brother, Konstantin Ignatov, became the face and manager of the company. Konstantin was arrested in 2019, while Greenwood was arrested earlier in 2018. Konstantin pleaded guilty to fraud and money laundering charges, facing up to 90 years in prison. Further, a New York federal judge sentenced Karl Sebastian Greenwood to 20 years in prison, for his role in the scheme, as per CNN.
Karl Sebastian Greenwood, who pled guilty today for his participation in the multi-billion-dollar cryptocurrency pyramid scheme "OneCoin," introducing Ruja Ignatova at their "Coin Rush" event https://t.co/MZN17fsAuw pic.twitter.com/YM7yZ3YOFq— US Attorney SDNY (@SDNYnews) December 16, 2022
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