The first individuals in Europe to be charged with a crime for their involvement in the Onecoin cryptocurrency scam are a husband and wife from Munich as well as an attorney. According to Bloomberg, they appeared in a German court on Tuesday.
On behalf of Ignatova, the attorney allegedly transferred €20 million ($19.7 million) to the Cayman Islands for the acquisition of two London apartments for €75 million. The duo faces a yearlong allegation of managing €320 million in payments from Onecoin users.
The three have been charged with fraud, money laundering, and banking offences related to the massive fraud operation. Ruja Ignatova, a German citizen of Bulgarian ancestry and known as the “Cryptoqueen,” established and runs the pyramid.
The pyramid misled consumers by asserting falsely that Onecoin was a cryptocurrency with a set market value, according to the German indictment. Investors were also informed that it could produce 50,000 coins per minute through mining. In court, the prosecution stated:
Onecoin was founded in 2014 and had a location in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria, which was raided by police authorities following the abduction of Ruja Ignatova. On October 25, 2017, The Cryptoqueen was last observed boarding a Ryanair flight for Athens.
The software just replicated the mining process, and the continuously rising value was a hoax.
Interpol, Europol, and the United States are currently seeking Ignatova. stealing at least $4 billion from Onecoin users, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Greek media reported in July that the Hellenic Police had made failed attempts to find and detain her this year after receiving information that she had interacted with particular people.
Ignatova’s brother Konstantin Ignatov took over after she vanished from the public glare in late 2017, but he was later detained in Los Angeles in 2019. Konstantin confessed his crimes and asked for witness protection. Ignatova has been accused of money laundering as well as wire and securities fraud in the US.
News broke in August that Christopher Hamilton, a British national charged with money laundering and wire fraud in connection with the Onecoin scam, had lost his fight to prevent extradition and would now be turned over to American authorities. In less than two years of operation as a multilevel marketing network, between late 2014 and the third quarter of 2016, the crypto pyramid claimed to have more than 3 million members worldwide and generate €3.4 billion in income.
- Associates of Onecoin Cryptoqueen Present in German Court
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