Austrian FMA Warns against Trading with OneCoin

The Bulgarian cryptocurrency fraud company caught the attention of the regulator after operating without a license.

The Austrian Financial Market Authority (FMA) has issued an official warning against OneCoin Ltd., a cryptocurrency company that has been in this situation a number of times. Over the last year or so, OneCoin has been accused of running a fraudulent operation under the guise of digital currency.

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The FMA’s statement comes to alert local traders that OneCoin is not authorized nor licensed to offer banking transactions. Not only does OneCoin’s lack of a license prohibit it from providing banking transaction, it also cannot legally issue payment instruments of any kind such as credit cards, traveler’s cheques, or banker’s drafts.

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The United Kingdom’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) also issued a warning in September 2016 after OneCoin held a recruitment event at a hotel in London. The audience was made promises that trading OneCoin could make them rich quickly, according to UK tabloid The Mirror. The company further made a comment that OneCoin could create no less than 300 millionaires in one year’s time. The attending crowd was told that they could double their earnings, even in the event that the price of the currency does not change.

This week, The Indian Express reported that OneCoin representatives have been charged with running a scam operation involving thousands of investors and INR 750,000,000 ($11,624,835.52). The Navi Mumbai police booked two Bulgarian individuals, one of them being Ruja Ignatova, OneCoin’s founder.

Nearly 30 individuals were arrested, 23 of them Thane, Mumbai, and Navi Mumbai residents. In April, Navi Mumbai Police Commissioner Hemant Nagrale and other officers entered the company’s seminar, following which they arrested its 15 organizers. As happened in the UK over a year ago, the company promised that investors could become rich after investing $184, followed by a significant payout in December 2018.

Navi Mumbai police investigations uncovered 35 bank accounts owned by OneCoin in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Delhi, and Rajasthan under various names of private companies. The registered transactions came to a total of $11,624,835.52. One officer stated that the police was only able to seize $387,381.50, as most funds were transferred shortly after the arrests occurred.

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