"Cryptoqueen" Ruja Ignatova still on the run – accomplice confesses in OneCoin fraud case

With her fraudulent Ponzi scheme OneCoin, Ruja Ignatova, as the “crypto queen,” attracted many investors who were hoping to make quick money with the cryptocurrency. Ignatova made billions and disappeared after everything was exposed – she is still a fugitive to this day. Meanwhile, an accomplice recently pleaded guilty.

• OneCoin fraud case: Former head of legal and compliance at OneCoin pleads guilty
• OneCoin co-founder Greenwood sentenced to 20 years in prison
• “Crypto queen” Ruja Ignatova still on the run

“The crypto queen” and her fraudulent one Ponzi scheme


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In 2014, Ruja Ignatova, also known as “the crypto queen,” and Karl Sebastian Greenwood co-founded OneCoin. The company marketed a supposed cryptocurrency with the same name. However, OneCoin was actually a fraudulent pyramid scheme. OneCoin operated as a multi-level marketing network where members received commissions if they could recruit others to purchase cryptocurrency packages, which was one reason for the rapid growth of the OneCoin member network. As it later turned out, the OneCoin cryptocurrency never really existed – it was worthless. The value of the coin was not determined by supply and demand, but rather the company arbitrarily set it itself. A real blockchain, which OneCoin claimed to have, never really existed. As well as the mining pools or computers mentioned by OneCoin to mine OneCoin.

Ignatova and Greenwood also took advantage of Bitcoin’s popularity “to convince investors that OneCoin was the next investment opportunity not to be missed,” reports the U.S. Department of Justice. They wanted to make investors believe that OneCoin was a legitimate cryptocurrency like Bitcoin and therefore deliberately made a connection between the two cryptocurrencies. For example, in a OneCoin PowerPoint presentation from Greenwood, the company described itself as “a unique and innovative cryptocurrency based on the success of the groundbreaking and famous cryptocoin Bitcoin.”

According to OneCoin’s promotional materials, more than three million people invested in the fraudulent scheme, writes the US Department of Justice. OneCoin’s records showed that the company “generated revenues of €4.037 billion and ‘profits’ of €2.735 billion between the fourth quarter of 2014 and the fourth quarter of 2016 alone.”

Former head of legal and compliance confessed

According to a press release from the US Department of Justice on November 9th, Damian Williams, US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that Irina Dilkinska recently appeared in federal court in Manhattan “on charges of fraud and money laundering in connection with pleaded guilty to her participation in the massive OneCoin fraud scheme. Dilkinska was allegedly the head of legal and compliance at OneCoin and was supposed to ensure that the company complied with the law. But Dilkinska assisted OneCoin “in conducting day-to-day operations and laundered money for OneCoin, including arranging the transfer of $110 million in fraudulently obtained OneCoin proceeds to a company in the Cayman Islands,” the release said .

Williams said: “As the so-called ‘head of legal and compliance’ at OneCoin, Irina Dilkinska has achieved the exact opposite of her position.” She has now admitted to “facilitating the laundering of millions of dollars in illegal profits that OneCoin made through its multi-level marketing program.” The prosecutor “commended the outstanding investigative work of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and the FBI, who conducted this investigation together with special agents from the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” the U.S. Department of Justice wrote, affirming that prosecutors and their law enforcement partners are continuing to work on the case would prosecute until they brought all the defendants to justice.

Dilkinska’s sentencing is scheduled for February 14, 2024.

OneCoin co-founder sentenced to prison

Back in September, it was announced that OneCoin co-founder Karl Sebastian Greenwood was sentenced to 20 years in prison “for his orchestration of the massive OneCoin fraud scheme.” “As founder and leader of OneCoin, Karl Sebastian Greenwood ran one of the largest fraud schemes of all time. Greenwood and his co-conspirators, including fugitive Ruja Ignatova, defrauded unsuspecting victims of billions of dollars with the promise of a “financial revolution” and the claim that OneCoin was the “Bitcoin Killer”. In fact, OneCoins were completely worthless and investors were left with nothing while Greenwood lined his own pockets with over $300 million. We hope that this long sentence resonates in the financial sector and deters everyone, who may be tempted to lie to investors and exploit the cryptocurrency ecosystem through fraud,” U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said at the time.

Ignatova continues to flee

Ruja Ignatova, who, according to a press release from the US Department of Justice, was “charged in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York on October 12, 2017 with fraud and money laundering in connection with OneCoin” and for whom a federal arrest warrant was issued, is missing as before, every trace. Ignatova traveled from Sofia to Athens on a commercial flight on October 25 – she has not been seen in public since. In June 2022, she was added to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list. This is offering “a $100,000 reward for information” leading to her arrest.

Editorial team finanzen.net