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OneCoin Lawyer Jailed — But Still No Sign of Cryptoqueen

Last Updated January 26, 2024 9:48 AM
Teuta Franjkovic
Last Updated January 26, 2024 9:48 AM

Key Takeaways

  • Mark Scott has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for his complicity in the OneCoin scam.
  • Prosecutors highlighted that Scott profited immensely from his involvement.
  • US authorities have prosecuted other OneCoin scammers including Karl Greenwood and Irina Dilkinska.

Following a hearing on January 25, Mark Scott, a lawyer involved in laundering $400 million for the OneCoin cryptocurrency scheme, was sentenced  to a decade in prison.

Convicted in 2019 on two charges, one related to bank fraud and the other to money laundering, Scott has now received his sentencing from Judge Edgardo Ramos of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Lawyer Sentenced to 10 Years in Major OneCoin Crypto Scam Case

As reported  by Inner City Press , Scott was found guilty of both conspiracy to commit bank fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering in November 2019. He has been awaiting this sentencing since his conviction.

 

The sentencing, which had been postponed multiple times, was less than the 17 years  sought by prosecutors but more than the five years his defense team argued for.

Scott played a crucial role  in the OneCoin scam, one of the most significant in cryptocurrency history. He orchestrated the laundering of vast sums, channeling them through various accounts across the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands, and ultimately the United Arab Emirates. Prosecutors highlighted that Scott profited immensely, earning $50 million from his involvement in laundering OneCoin’s funds.

During the trial, Scott maintained his ignorance of OneCoin’s fraudulent nature and expressed sympathy  for the victims of the scam prior to receiving his sentence.

A $4 Billion Crypto Fraud

OneCoin, a notorious crypto fraud  originating from Bulgaria, swindled over $4 billion from victims worldwide, including in the most remote Pacific islands. This elaborate multi-level marketing scheme, active primarily between 2014 and 2016, reported €4.037 billion in sales and €2.735 billion in profits.

In addition to prosecuting Mark Scott, US authorities have pursued other key figures in the OneCoin scam. Last year, co-founder Karl Greenwood received a 20-year prison sentence  after admitting to wire fraud. Irina Dilkinska , the former Compliance Head of OneCoin, also pled guilty to wire fraud and money laundering charges.

Cryptoqueen Ruja Ignatova: OneCoin’s Mastermind Still Elusive

Ruja Ignatova, also known as the ‘Cryptoqueen’, remains evasive after disappearing in October 2017. Last seen in Greece, following a flight from Bulgaria, Ignatova is a central figure in the OneCoin scandal. She is now prominently featured on the FBI’s “Most Wanted ” list, with a $100,000 reward offered for information leading to her arrest. Additionally, she is recognized as one of Europe’s most wanted fugitives.

In 2022, unsubstantiated rumors surfaced about the potential assassination of Ignatova, off the coast of Greece. These speculations were linked to a Bulgarian drug lord allegedly involved in the scheme. However, the actual basis for these rumors came from a police document uncovered by the Bulgarian investigative outlet, BIRD  (Bureau for Investigative Reporting and Data). This document hinted at the possibility that Ignatova, who disappeared in 2017, might have been killed on the orders of a Bulgarian crime boss.

Nevertheless, Atanas Tchobanov, a journalist at BIRD, clarified  that this assassination theory remains unconfirmed and should be considered a hypothesis. BIRD stumbled upon these murder speculations while investigating the death of a police officer in March 2022

In related developments, Mark Scott’s legal team sought a new trial ahead of his recent sentencing, citing alleged false testimony by a government witness, Konstantin Ignatov , Ruja Ignatova’s brother. This appeal was rejected. Konstantin Ignatov, having admitted his involvement in OneCoin, is currently cooperating with prosecutors.

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