The Bank of Ireland accounts were used to funnel at least €273 million (almost $299.5 million), which according to the US prosecutors, belonged to the multi-billion dollar OneCoin scam.
Reported by The Irish Times, the allegations were made in fresh court documents filed by prosecutors in a case against Mark S Scott, after receiving testimony from the employees of the Irish bank.
Filled at a New York court, the documents alleged that the accounts were used by Scott, a US lawyer, to funnel tainted money from the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands to the United Arab Emirates.
A nifty way to launder money
Scott approached the Irish lender in 2016 to open accounts on behalf of Fenero Funds, an investment vehicle-based in the British Virgin Islands, sourcing money for wealthy European families.
The documents also detailed that the lawyer informed the bank that the funds would be used for investment in the financial and telecom sector, and an Irish bank account is necessary as the firm is intended to invest in European investments with European money.
“[Fenero Funds] intended to set up a physical office in Ireland and that the Ireland office would employ 100 employees within five years, but would have a physical presence and 10 employees to manage the company in Ireland initially,” a bank official told the US authorities.
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Ignored by the bank?
The accounts related to Fenero were off the radar because of the firm’s little-regulated base country and Scott was instructed to notify the bank on any ownership change of the firm to comply with anti-money laundering (AML) and know your customer (KYC) rules.
However, according to the testimonies with the US prosecutors by the bank employees, no disclosure was ever made by Scott.
Founded in 2014 by Bulgarian entrepreneur Ruja Ignatova, the project managed to raise over $4 billion. Though at first glance, it looks like any other digital asset, a close examination of the business reveals its pyramid-like structure.
The recent testimonies from the Irish bank’s employees were received after years of push from the US prosecutors.
“For over two and a half years, the government has diligently sought evidence from the Bank of Ireland,” prosecutors noted.