Money laundering crime was accepted. The Department of Justice in the United States announced on Friday that the member “Cryptoqueen” Ruja Ignatova and OneCoin co-investigator Karl Sebastian Greenwood have pleaded guilty to federal charges of wire fraud and money laundering in connection with the OneCoin scam.
“As the founder and leader of OneCoin, Karl Sebastian Greenwood operated one of the world’s largest fraud schemes ever,” US Attorney Damian Williams said in a statement.
Started in 2014 by Ruja Ignatova in Greenwood, OneCoin e market is sold as a mineable cryptocurrency through a global multi-level market network. Members receive commissions for recruiting others to buy “cryptocurrency” packages. Unlike Bitcoin, Ethereum or Dogecoin, OneCoin is not accessible because its blockchain does not exist.
Greenwood was arrested in Thailand in July 2018 and extradited to the United States in October 2018. Ignatova was last seen on a commercial flight to Athens, Greece in 2017. In June 2022, Ignatova, who had not been seen since October 2017, was added to the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list. The company says that Greenwood acted as a “master global distributor” and the leader of a multi-level marketing network through fraudulent cryptocurrency e-commerce sales.
According to the Department of Justice, victims have invested more than $4 billion worldwide in the scam. Williams says Greenwood’s comments are meant to make ordinary people around the world part with their hard-earned money and line their pockets with hundreds of millions of dollars. Williams also points to emails between Greenwood and other OneCoin employees detailing their “exit plans” from the scam. On December 7, 2022, documents were published in the Southern District of New York at Williams’ request.
The document details charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering against former Luxembourg intelligence officer Frank Schneider, who worked as OneCoin’s problem manager following a hearing before a grand jury in 2020. Although the Cryptoqueen story covered the failure of several well-known cryptocurrency companies, including FTX, Ignatova is still a fascinating figure among real-time criminals. In February 2022, Deadline reported that Ruja Ignatova’s story on OneCoin was being adapted for television.
“This lawsuit of the co-founder of OneCoin takes a week in the SDNY that sends a clear message that we are coming when anyone wants to use the cryptocurrency ecosystem fraud, regardless junior or senior you are.” Williams said.