FBI Offering $5M Rewards For Information Leading to Arrest of OneCoin Founder Ruja Ignatova

FBI Offering $5M Rewards For Information Leading to Arrest of OneCoin Founder Ruja Ignatova 

On Thursday, the US Department of State announced a $5 million bounty to anyone with information concerning Ruja Ignatova, nicknamed, crypto queen. Ignatova went into hiding after exposing the investor to a loss of millions.

The crypto queen promoted the OneCoin platform, which operated as a  Ponzi scheme. She claimed that OneCoin would become the next Bitcoin and that investors would accumulate substantial gains.

FBI Search for OneCoin Founder  Ruja Ignotava

To sustain the operation, the regulators noted that the crypto queen used falsified reports and data to entice customers to invest in OneCoin. The report shows that the Oxford alumina launched the OneCoin in 2014 for personal gains.

From the OneCoin proceedings, the law enforcers noted that the 44-year-old investors raised to become a wealthy crypto mogul owning a penthouse in Kensington London. Ignatova was also the owner of a multi-million yacht dubbed Davina.

However, in 2017, OneCoin was liquidated, exposing the customers to a loss of $4 million. Since then, the crypto queen went into hiding and was listed among the top ten most wanted criminals by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

From their investigation, the FBI suspected that the Bulgarian national fled the country using her German passport to Russia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Greece, or some part of Eastern Europe.

FBI to Reward $5M on Information Concerning Ruja Ignatova’s Whereabouts

Since Ignatova long escaped the FBI, efforts to bring the crypto queen to justice have proven futile. The law enforcers claimed that Ignatova might have hired armed guards to protect her from being arrested.

Also, the FBI suspected that Ignatova might have altered her physical appearance through plastic surgery to avoid being identified. The law enforcers confessed the last time Ignatova was seen boarding a flight from Sofia, Bulgaria, to Athens, Greece.

While Ignatova’s whereabouts remain unknown, her general partner Karl Greenwood will serve a 20-year imprisonment for defrauding customers and engaging in money laundering.

Greenwood replicated her boss’s lifestyle, living in a posh estate and acquiring several properties. Court reports show that Greenwood escaped with $ 300 million in customer funds.

He was arrested in 2018, shortly after the collapse of OneCoin.  During Greenwood’s sentencing, a judge at the district court described the OneCoin as a Madoff disaster that escaped with millions of customers’ funds.

The jury claimed that Greenwood and crypto queen created OneCoin as a pyramid scheme to defraud customers of their hard-earned money.  Greenwood and Cryptoqueen are accused of implementing advanced marketing structures to promote and sell fake crypto assets.

Along with Greenwood, the former head of legal and compliance, Irina Dilkinska, was charged with wire fraud and money laundering. Dilkinska was accused of supporting the transfer of $110 million in ill-gotten profits.

Heading the OneCoin legal department,  Dilkinska failed to uphold the rule of law. A court in the US ordered Dilkinska to remain behind bars for five years on each account.

Reviewing OneCoin’s $4M Scandal

After a collaborative effort to bring down the cryptoqueen, law enforcers announced a $100,000 million reward to anyone who had information concerning the crypto queen. In June 2022, the law enforcers increased the bounty to $250,000 million in an attempt to convict Ignatova.

Seven years after the collapse of the OneCoin, the federal authority has agreed to increase the bounty to $5 million. The crypto queen was charged with conspiracy of fraud, money laundering, and breaching the securities law.

In 2023, the Bulgaria authority claimed that the cryptoqueen was murdered by a drug dealer in 2018. The story took a turn when the police noted that the individual reporting about the murder of Ignatova was under the influence of drugs.

Ignatova’s case on the missing crypto queen has been featured on the BBC podcast. The podcast claimed that Ignatova could fake her death to mislead the federal authority pursuing her.

The BBC noted that Ignatova become a liability to global investigators and has remained listed on the list of most wanted criminals.

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