‘Cryptoqueen’ joins the FBI’s list of top ten most-wanted fugitives for defrauding investors of $4 billion. The German citizen was selling OneCoin, a fake cryptocurrency.
Cryptoqueen, the latest addition to the FBI’s most-wanted list
Ruja Ignatova, better known as ‘Cryptoqueen’ was charged in 2019 with eight counts including wire fraud and securities fraud for running the Bulgaria-based OneCoin Ltd as a pyramid scheme. According to prosecutors, the company offered commissions for members to lure others to buy a ‘worthless cryptocurrency’.
“She timed her scheme perfectly, capitalizing on the frenzied speculation of the early days of cryptocurrency,” stated Damian Williams. Williams is a top federal prosecutor in Manhattan.
“Ignatova disappeared in late 2017 after bugging an apartment belonging to her American boyfriend and learning he was cooperating with an FBI probe into OneCoin. She boarded a flight from Bulgaria to Greece and has not been seen since,” revealed Williams.
According to Williams, OneCoin is “one of the largest Ponzi schemes in history”.
More on the OneCoin scheme
The FBI adds fugitives to its ‘most wanted list when it believes the public can help in tracking down suspects. Moreover,
The FBI is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to Ignatova’s capture, said Michael Driscoll, the FBI’s assistant director-in-charge in New York.
“She left with a tremendous amount of cash,” Driscoll told reporters. “Money can buy a lot of friends, and I would imagine she’s taking advantage of that”, stated Michael Driscoll. Driscoll is the assistant director-in-charge for the FBI in New York.
The FBI also charged Mark Scott, a former corporate lawyer for laundering about $400 million for OneCoin. He was also found guilty on grounds of conspiracy for money laundering. This is in addition to the conspiracy of bank fraud.