The trial of the US lawyer Mark Scott was initiated on Monday in the US District Court in Manhattan for his involvement with the multibillion-dollar OnceCoin crypto scam.
Scoot has been accused of laundering $400 million generated by duping investors of OneCoin. These funds were only a fraction of the funds involved in the scam and were routed out of the United States.
In connection with the trial of the US lawyer, the US prosecutors also approached the Bank of Ireland and took the testimony of the staff. Scott operated multiple accounts at the bank, which were used to funnel around $300 million in tainted money from the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands to the United Arab Emirates.
He is facing two charges – one for conspiracy to commit money laundering and another to commit bank fraud.
Strong or week arguments?
The defendant’s arguments, however, are based on his knowledge of OneCoin being a pyramid scheme or a legitimate investment opportunity via digital currency.
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Scott earlier told the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that before getting involved with OneCoin, he questioned the rumors of it being a “pyramid scheme” but was reassured by a college that “there was nothing illegal going on.”
“The central issue at trial will be whether or not Mr. Scott knew OneCoin was operating a criminal scheme,” the prosecutors stated.
OneCoin is a big eyesore in the crypto investment world as, according to some estimates, it defrauded $4 billion from investors across the globe. Multiple countries issued warnings against the scheme following many raids and arrests.
Earlier this year, the FBI captured Konstantin Ignatov, brother of the founder of the fraudulent company. He was acting as the top leader of the business after the disappearance of his sister from public view since 2017. The US authorities also extradited Sebastian Greenwood, one of the co-founders of the project, from Thailand.
However, Ruja Ignatova is still at large as her whereabouts are still unknown. Meanwhile, the organization behind OneCoin is still operating the scheme and denied any wrongdoing.