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OneCoin's Co-Founder Karl Greenwood Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud

by Solomon Oladipupo
  • Greenwood, who was arrested in Thailand in 2018, is to be sentenced next year.
  • Co-Founder Ruja Ignatova, the 'Cryptoqueen', remains at large.
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Karl Greenwood, the Co-Founder of OneCoin, the multi-billion dollar cryptocurrency pyramid scheme, has pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud and money laundering in connection with his role in the fraudulent crypto project. The charges before him carry a maximum potential sentence of 20 years each, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said on Friday.

Karl Greenwood Arrested and Convicted of Fraud

Greenwood, who was arrested in Thailand in July 2018 and extradited to the United States, confessed to the charges in a Manhattan federal court before Judge Edgardo Ramos who accepted the guilty plea. He is to be sentenced by Judge Ramos on April 5, 2023, the DOJ said.

“This guilty plea by the Co-Founder of OneCoin caps a week at the Southern District of New York (SDNY) that sends a clear message that we are coming after all those who seek to exploit the cryptocurrency ecosystem through fraud, no matter how big or sophisticated you are,” Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for SDNY, said in the DOJ statement.

Ruja 'Cryptoqueen' Ignatova Remains at Large in OneCoin Fraud

According to the DOJ, Ruja Ignatova, who co-founded OneCoin alongside Greenwood, remains at large. The declaration comes eight months after Ignatova, also known as “the Cryptoqueen” was included in the list of Europe’s most wanted fugitives by Europol. The run-away Co-Founder was added to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Top 10 Most Wanted List earlier in June.

On October 12, 2017, the United States charged Ignatova with fraud and money laundering at the US District Court for the SDNY. Moreover, it issued a federal warrant for her arrest. In addition, the FBI has offered to pay $100,000 to anyone with information that leads to her arrest.

However, since Ignatova travelled on a commercial flight from Sofia, Bulgaria to Athens, Greece on October 25, 2017, she has not been seen publicly, the DOJ noted.

OneCoin Backstory

Greenwood and Ignatova founded OneCoin in 2014 in Sofia, Bulgaria from where they marketed and sold the fraudulent scheme through global multi-level marketing (MLM). The DOJ noted that as a result of misrepresentations the Co-Founders and others had made about OncCoin, victims across the globe invested over four billion dollars in the scheme.

“This MLM structure influenced the rapid growth of the OneCoin member network. Indeed, according to OneCoin’s promotional materials, over three million people invested in fraudulent cryptocurrency packages. OneCoin records show that, between the fourth quarter of 2014 and the fourth quarter of 2016 alone, OneCoin generated €4.037 billion in sales revenue and earned 'profits' of €2.735 billion,” the DOJ explained.

Karl Greenwood, the Co-Founder of OneCoin, the multi-billion dollar cryptocurrency pyramid scheme, has pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud and money laundering in connection with his role in the fraudulent crypto project. The charges before him carry a maximum potential sentence of 20 years each, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said on Friday.

Karl Greenwood Arrested and Convicted of Fraud

Greenwood, who was arrested in Thailand in July 2018 and extradited to the United States, confessed to the charges in a Manhattan federal court before Judge Edgardo Ramos who accepted the guilty plea. He is to be sentenced by Judge Ramos on April 5, 2023, the DOJ said.

“This guilty plea by the Co-Founder of OneCoin caps a week at the Southern District of New York (SDNY) that sends a clear message that we are coming after all those who seek to exploit the cryptocurrency ecosystem through fraud, no matter how big or sophisticated you are,” Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for SDNY, said in the DOJ statement.

Ruja 'Cryptoqueen' Ignatova Remains at Large in OneCoin Fraud

According to the DOJ, Ruja Ignatova, who co-founded OneCoin alongside Greenwood, remains at large. The declaration comes eight months after Ignatova, also known as “the Cryptoqueen” was included in the list of Europe’s most wanted fugitives by Europol. The run-away Co-Founder was added to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Top 10 Most Wanted List earlier in June.

On October 12, 2017, the United States charged Ignatova with fraud and money laundering at the US District Court for the SDNY. Moreover, it issued a federal warrant for her arrest. In addition, the FBI has offered to pay $100,000 to anyone with information that leads to her arrest.

However, since Ignatova travelled on a commercial flight from Sofia, Bulgaria to Athens, Greece on October 25, 2017, she has not been seen publicly, the DOJ noted.

OneCoin Backstory

Greenwood and Ignatova founded OneCoin in 2014 in Sofia, Bulgaria from where they marketed and sold the fraudulent scheme through global multi-level marketing (MLM). The DOJ noted that as a result of misrepresentations the Co-Founders and others had made about OncCoin, victims across the globe invested over four billion dollars in the scheme.

“This MLM structure influenced the rapid growth of the OneCoin member network. Indeed, according to OneCoin’s promotional materials, over three million people invested in fraudulent cryptocurrency packages. OneCoin records show that, between the fourth quarter of 2014 and the fourth quarter of 2016 alone, OneCoin generated €4.037 billion in sales revenue and earned 'profits' of €2.735 billion,” the DOJ explained.

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