Cryptoqueen Associates Face Fraud Trial
Ruja Ignatova, aka Cryptoqueen, the founder of OneCoin, has been on the run since 2017. She is allegedly involved in a multibillion-dollar Ponzi scheme.
Now, three of her associates have been presented to the German court. The charges against them include money laundering, fraud, and embezzlement.
On 18 October, a lawyer from Munich and a couple who allegedly worked for Cryptoqueen appeared in court. Reportedly, the lawyer helped Ignatova in purchasing two apartments in London. For this, it is claimed, he transferred $19.7 million (€20 million) from the Cayman Islands.
The couple was allegedly involved in payment handling for OneCoin. Within a year, they are said to have dealt with $315.4 million (€320 million).
Charges of $4 billion against Cryptoqueen’s OneCoin
Ruja Ignatova founded the OneCoin platform in 2014. She falsely claimed that it is a cryptocurrency and trade platform. However, after the US’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) investigated, it turned out to be a multi-level marketing Ponzi scheme.
The platform allured investors through false claims. It claimed to run a token mining program, but in truth, there was not any. As per the investigation by the FBI, Cryptoqueen's company scammed more than three million investors. The total amount fraudulently obtained is roughly $4 billion.
Ruja Ignatova disappeared in 2017. Reportedly, she was last seen in Athens, Greece. The FBI also added her to the top ten most wanted criminals list. The bureau also announced a $100,000 reward for anyone who could share information about her whereabouts.
The OneCoin company also allegedly bribed the presidents of Bulgaria and Serbia. An economist, Angelina Lazar, claimed this in an interview.
Previously, some other actors who were part of the company also faced charges. Christopher Hamilton was one of them. He faced money laundering charges involving around $105 million in embezzlement.
Ruja’s brother, Konstantin Ignatov, was also accused of money laundering and pleaded guilty in 2019.
Author: Wasay Ali
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