A cryptocurrency investor is suing the multi-billion dollar pyramid scheme of OneCoin, seeking to represent others who claim the notorious firm fooled them. Per a legal filing in a US district court in New York, Christine Grablis was duped into making a $130,000 investment in OneCoin, and now she asks the court to classify her as a class action.
The plaintiff said she had lay claim to an annulment of her investment and a return of funds, while also requesting additional restitution for unspecified damages.
The legal action accuses that scammers also encouraged those who took part in the concerned scheme to promote it. They offered attractive commissions and incentives to promote their coins.
Earlier in March, the FBI arrested Konstantin Ignatov, the alleged leader of OneCoin, and his partners on counts of defrauding investors out of over $4 billion.
OneCoin was founded in 2014 by Bulgarian businesswoman and Konstantin’s sister Ruja Ignatova, who served as OneCoin’s top leader until her disappearance two years ago. Since 2016, the project has been a subject of investigations in China and India, and several regulators have issued warnings against its operations.
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OneCoin operates as a multi-level marketing network where more than three million members worldwide were offered a reward for buying coins and attracting more users. The platform pays its affiliate members commissions for introducing others to purchase its cryptocurrency and contribute to a related ICO.
US lawyer arrested for laundering OneCoin money
The pyramid worked throughout Europe and Asia for more than two years and attracted millions of dollars before the regulators of different countries began to worry about the legitimacy of this business.
In 2017, the government of Kazakhstan clamped down on the company, labeling it a scam that promoted a cryptocurrency Ponzi scheme, given its structure which promises 10x ROI in a few months – which is a clear sign of a pyramid scam.
A few months later, Ignatova was arrested in India along with another 30 individuals, charged with running a scam involving thousands of investors. Indian police noted that OneCoin money was stored in 35 different bank accounts, and the majority of it was transferred to an unknown location shortly after the arrests were made.
According to the official court document, the FBI has also arrested Mark Scott, a former partner with the international law firm Locke Lord, who has been accused of laundering approximately $400 million, which investigators claim is the proceeds of OneCoin scheme.
Investigators say that Scott laundered funds through hedge funds in the Cayman Islands and sent the majority of these funds back to the unnamed founders of the scheme.