OneCoin Founder Ruja Ignatova Is Back after 5 Years in Hiding

Monday, 30/01/2023 | 09:43 GMT by Damian Chmiel
  • The founder of the cryptocurrency scam was last seen in October 2017.
  • OneCoin defrauded investors of $5 billion in cryptocurrencies and cash.
Ruja Ignatova, OneCoin
Ruja Ignatova, OneCoin

Ruja Ignatova, the Founder and mastermind behind the OneCoin crypto fraud, allegedly resurfaced after vanishing for more than five years. Last week's property listing in central London exposed a 42-year-old German citizen of Bulgarian origin.

Ruja Ignatova, the OneCoine Founder, Leaves a Trace

According to information first reported by iNews, the name and surname of the 'cryptoqueen' appeared in real estate documents regarding a property in the London suburb of Kensington, England.

Ignatova purchased the penthouse for her company, but new regulations in the UK require to list the name of the 'beneficial owner'. It forced the criminal to come out of hiding as she had to be officially named on the document alongside her shell firm.

Prestigious property retailer Knight Frank advertised the £11 million property. However, the listing was removed after media reports showed the connection between the penthouse and the wanted criminal.

Why is this information so important? It suggests that Ignatova is still alive and that real estate documents might contain clues about her last whereabouts. Even if she cannot be captured, the property could be used to repay some of her victims.

Watch the recent FMLS22 panel on reimagining the crypto market structure.

The History of OneCoin

OneCoin Founder Ruja Ignatova

Ruja Ignatova has become extremely popular with international investigative bodies in recent years. She has made it onto the FBI's list of the ten most wanted criminals and has been named by Europol as one of the most wanted fugitives.

Ignatova and her business partner Sebastian Greenwood launched the OneCoin cryptocurrency in 2014, advertising it as the future 'bitcoin killer'. OneCoin turned out to be one of the largest cryptocurrency scams in history, spreading to 175 countries where investors lost an estimated $5 billion.

According to US court documents, the pyramid scheme's services may have been used by 3 million people at its peak, with total revenue of almost $4 billion between 2014 and 2016.

Investors were attracted by the vision of high, even tenfold, returns on their initial investment. However, most of them never saw their money again, and Ignatova and Greenwood disappeared in 2017. The accomplice was arrested in July 2018 in Thailand and extradited to the United States. He will be sentenced in April this year and faces 20 years in prison.

A year later, Ignatova's nephew, Konstantin Ignatova, who tried to run a further financial pyramid scheme after his sister's escape, was also put behind bars. He will be sentenced next month and is charged with money laundering and fraud conspiracy.

In 2020, the US court convicted Mark Scott, OneCoin's former lawyer. Scott allegedly helped to launder $400 million of Ignatova's fraudulently acquired money and received more than $50 million in commission for his involvement.

Ruja Ignatova, the Founder and mastermind behind the OneCoin crypto fraud, allegedly resurfaced after vanishing for more than five years. Last week's property listing in central London exposed a 42-year-old German citizen of Bulgarian origin.

Ruja Ignatova, the OneCoine Founder, Leaves a Trace

According to information first reported by iNews, the name and surname of the 'cryptoqueen' appeared in real estate documents regarding a property in the London suburb of Kensington, England.

Ignatova purchased the penthouse for her company, but new regulations in the UK require to list the name of the 'beneficial owner'. It forced the criminal to come out of hiding as she had to be officially named on the document alongside her shell firm.

Prestigious property retailer Knight Frank advertised the £11 million property. However, the listing was removed after media reports showed the connection between the penthouse and the wanted criminal.

Why is this information so important? It suggests that Ignatova is still alive and that real estate documents might contain clues about her last whereabouts. Even if she cannot be captured, the property could be used to repay some of her victims.

Watch the recent FMLS22 panel on reimagining the crypto market structure.

The History of OneCoin

OneCoin Founder Ruja Ignatova

Ruja Ignatova has become extremely popular with international investigative bodies in recent years. She has made it onto the FBI's list of the ten most wanted criminals and has been named by Europol as one of the most wanted fugitives.

Ignatova and her business partner Sebastian Greenwood launched the OneCoin cryptocurrency in 2014, advertising it as the future 'bitcoin killer'. OneCoin turned out to be one of the largest cryptocurrency scams in history, spreading to 175 countries where investors lost an estimated $5 billion.

According to US court documents, the pyramid scheme's services may have been used by 3 million people at its peak, with total revenue of almost $4 billion between 2014 and 2016.

Investors were attracted by the vision of high, even tenfold, returns on their initial investment. However, most of them never saw their money again, and Ignatova and Greenwood disappeared in 2017. The accomplice was arrested in July 2018 in Thailand and extradited to the United States. He will be sentenced in April this year and faces 20 years in prison.

A year later, Ignatova's nephew, Konstantin Ignatova, who tried to run a further financial pyramid scheme after his sister's escape, was also put behind bars. He will be sentenced next month and is charged with money laundering and fraud conspiracy.

In 2020, the US court convicted Mark Scott, OneCoin's former lawyer. Scott allegedly helped to launder $400 million of Ignatova's fraudulently acquired money and received more than $50 million in commission for his involvement.

About the Author: Damian Chmiel
Damian Chmiel
  • 1495 Articles
  • 30 Followers
About the Author: Damian Chmiel
Damian's adventure with financial markets began at the Cracow University of Economics, where he obtained his MA in finance and accounting. Starting from the retail trader perspective, he collaborated with brokerage houses and financial portals in Poland as an independent editor and content manager. His adventure with Finance Magnates began in 2016, where he is working as a business intelligence analyst.
  • 1495 Articles
  • 30 Followers

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