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Cryptoqueen’s Capture Now Worth $5M: OneCoin Fraudster Missing or Murdered?

Published June 27, 2024 12:53 PM
Eddie Mitchell
Published June 27, 2024 12:53 PM
Key Takeaways
  • Ruja Ignatova has been on the for seven years following the collapse of OneCoin.
  • Several OneCoin co-conspirators have received significant jail time.
  • Reports allege that Ignatova had been murdered by a Bulgarian drug kingpin who she paid for security.

The hunt for OneCoin founder, “Cryptoqueen” Ruja Ignatova ramps up as U.S. authorities raise the reward for information leading to her arrest and conviction to $5 million.

After seven years on the run, the illusive fraudster remains one of the world’s most wanted criminals, though some investigations suggest she may already be dead.

$5 Million for Cryptoqueen

As per a June 26, 2024 release  from the U.S. Department of State (DoS), a reward of up to $5 million is now being offered for information that results in her arrest, regardless of country.

Bulgarian-born Ignatova  spearheaded the $4 billion OneCoin Ponzi scheme that began in 2014 and collapsed in 2017. She then vanished on a morning Ryanair flight from Sofia to Athens. Five years later, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) put her on the Top Ten Most Wanted  Fugitives list.

After scamming hundreds of thousands of people from around the world the Cryptoqueen is wanted around the world, this includes Europol  and Indian  authorities are seeking her arrest.

Prison Time

If convicted, the Cryptoqueen can expect to receive a lengthy sentencing, and many of the main co-conspirators have already been jailed. Co-founder and head promoter of OneCoin, Karl Sebastian Greenwood, was sentenced to 20 years in prison

Her brother, Konstantin Ignatov, pled guilty to money laundering and fraud charges in 2019 and received a light 34-month sentence for agreeing to cooperate with the government. Konstantin was released  in early March 2024.

The Cryptoqueen’s ex-boyfriend, Gilbert Armenta, received a 5-year sentence in 2018 after pleading guilty to laundering £300 million. The former head of legal for OneCoin, Irina Dilkinska, was jailed for four years after confessing to her involvement in the fraud.

Mark Scott, a partner at law firm Locke Lord LLP, was found guilty in 2019, receiving 10 years for laundering $400 million. Konstantin was a key witness in the case against Scott. The defendant is now appealing this, that Ignatov gave false testimony during the trial.

Where is Cryptoqueen?

Thanks to her significant finances, Ignatova has evaded the world’s authorities for 7 years. Rumors as to her whereabouts range from the farfetched and absurd, to the rather dark and disturbing.

Some posit that there are powerful individuals and entities in her homeland of Bulgaria who may benefit from providing protection. Some have gone as far as to suggest that may be hiding in plain sight following extensive plastic surgery  procedures.

According to other investigative reports , Cryptoqueen may have been killed by a major drug kingpin, “Taki”, in Bulgaria. Allegedly , Taki was in charge of her physical security and had deep connections with Ignatova.

The “murder” could simply be a huge ploy to further hide her whereabouts. This is backed up by multiple reported sightings of the Ignatova following the murder allegations. There are also claims of Ignatova carrying multiple passports, including Russian and Ukrainian, which she uses to fly between Russia and Dubai.

Following her 2017 trip to Athens, the Cryptoqueen’s whereabouts have been completely unknown.

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