The CEO of the OneCoin cryptocurrency scam, Konstantin Ignatov, will have to undergo trial while still in custody.
The New York Southern District Court’s Judge Edgardo Ramos denied a bond application filed by Ignatov despite the top leader of the cryptocurrency scam having proposed attractive release conditions, as first ported by Finance Feeds. Ignatov is accused of a conspiracy to commit wire fraud, a crime which could see him serve a maximum of 20 years in jail.
Among the release conditions that Ignatov’s defense team had proposed included a $20 million personal recognizance bond. Ignatov had also agreed to wear GPS tags as well as foot the bill to hire round-the-clock armed guards who would ensure he doesn’t flee.
Access to his residence would also only be allowed to those with pre-authorized permission. Additionally, Ignatov had agreed to avoid using computers or cellphones other than for note taking and reviewing discovery.
In opposing his bond application the U.S. government insisted that Ignatov was a flight risk and that the proposed release conditions were not a guarantee that he would not flee.
Additionally, the U.S. government argued that releasing Ignatov on bail would not deter him from causing more harm. This argument was based on the fact that the OneCoin scheme is still operational. At the time of his arrest in March in California, Ignatov was scheduled to attend OneCoin events in the U.S.
The OneCoin leader was also accused of lying ‘repeatedly to government officials’ and therefore ‘establishing that he cannot be trusted to comply with any conditions of release’. Some of these government officials included U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officers and Pretrial Services Officers:
He simply cannot be trusted to comply with any conditions set by the Court, having already lied to U.S. border agents, investigating case agents, and even the very Pretrial Services Officers tasked with evaluating appropriate bail in this case.
U.S. authorities also noted that the OneCoin founder and Ignatov’s sister, Ruja Ignatova had disappeared after charges were filed against her.
In the hearing, it was also noted that Ignatov has ties to countries which haven’t signed extradition treaties with the United States. This was probably a reference to countries where the OneCoin scheme has operations and where if Ignatov were to flee to he would not be in danger of being apprehended and flown back to the U.S.
In this regard, this would include countries as Samoa where OneCoin had a significant presence and even used church podiums to market the ponzi scheme. The cryptocurrency scam also penetrated Uganda and Ignatov even documented his travels there last year.
Others include countries bordering his native Bulgaria and which lack extradition treaties with the U.S. In this respect Serbia and Macedonia immediately come to mind.
Last modified: June 23, 2020 7:33 PM UTC