OneCoin Co-Founder Sentenced to Two Decades in Prison Over Multibillion-Dollar Fraud

According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Karl Sebastian Greenwood, co-founder of the infamous OneCoin cryptocurrency scheme, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison. The decision was handed down by U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos, following Greenwood’s involvement in a fraudulent operation that deceived millions of investors worldwide, leading to losses exceeding $4 billion.

OneCoin: A Brief Overview

Founded in 2014, OneCoin Ltd., headquartered in Sofia, Bulgaria, was marketed as a revolutionary cryptocurrency. However, it was later revealed to be a sham, with no real value. The company operated through a global multi-level-marketing (MLM) network, enticing millions to invest based on false promises and misrepresentations.

The Scale of the Fraud

Between Q4 2014 and Q4 2016, OneCoin amassed over $4 billion from at least 3.5 million victims. Greenwood, as the global master distributor, was instrumental in the scheme’s success, earning a staggering 5% of monthly OneCoin sales globally. This amounted to over $200 million in just two years and totaled around $300 million overall.

Misleading Representations

Greenwood and his co-founder, Ruja Ignatova, known as “the Cryptoqueen,” strategically used Bitcoin’s reputation to lure investors. They presented OneCoin as the next big investment opportunity, drawing parallels between the two cryptocurrencies in their marketing materials. However, unlike legitimate cryptocurrencies, OneCoin’s value was arbitrarily set by the company, with no regard for market dynamics.

The Illusion of Legitimacy

OneCoin falsely claimed to operate on a private “blockchain.” However, it lacked a genuine, verifiable blockchain. By March 2015, Greenwood and Ignatova began allocating non-existent OneCoins to members, dubbing them “fake coins.” This deception was further highlighted in email exchanges between the co-founders, where they acknowledged the absence of real mining operations.

Lavish Lifestyles Funded by Fraud

The funds amassed from the scheme were used to finance extravagant lifestyles. Greenwood, for instance, spent thousands on luxury resorts in Brazil and Thailand, designer goods, and even a private “OneCoin” airplane. He also invested in real estate across Spain, Dubai, and Thailand.

The Arrest and Extradition

Greenwood was apprehended in Koh Samui, Thailand, in July 2018 and was later extradited to the U.S. in October 2018. He has remained in custody since his arrest.

The Hunt for the Cryptoqueen

Ruja Ignatova, Greenwood’s co-conspirator, remains elusive. Charged with OneCoin-related fraud and money laundering in October 2017, she vanished after a trip from Bulgaria to Greece later that month. Ignatova was added to the FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted List in June 2022, with a $100,000 reward for information leading to her capture.

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Former OneCoin Executive Charged with Fraud

The United States Department of Justice has charged Irina Dilkinska, a former executive of the fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme OneCoin, with wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Dilkinska, who was extradited from Bulgaria, now faces up to 40 years in prison for her alleged role in aiding the laundering of over $400 million of OneCoin’s proceeds.

OneCoin was a cryptocurrency scheme that has been accused of being a Ponzi scheme and a fraudulent operation. The scheme was founded in 2014 by Ruja Ignatova, who was later indicted by the US government for her role in the scheme. Ignatova is currently a fugitive, and her brother, Konstantin Ignatov, has pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme.

Dilkinska was OneCoin’s former head of legal and compliance and is accused of aiding in the laundering of OneCoin’s proceeds. According to the Department of Justice, Dilkinska allegedly destroyed incriminating evidence and sent incriminating messages upon hearing of a co-conspirator’s arrest. Each count of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering carries a maximum potential sentence of 20 years in prison.

The OneCoin scheme has been accused of defrauding investors of billions of dollars, and the US government has been actively pursuing legal action against those involved in the scheme. The scheme operated by convincing investors to buy OneCoin tokens, which were then traded on the OneCoin exchange. However, the exchange was found to be fraudulent, and the tokens were worthless.

The OneCoin scheme has been the subject of numerous investigations and legal actions around the world. In addition to the charges against Dilkinska and Ignatova, several other individuals have been indicted in connection with the scheme. The US government has also seized millions of dollars in assets and bank accounts connected to the scheme.

The case against Dilkinska is another example of the US government’s commitment to pursuing those involved in fraudulent cryptocurrency schemes. The government has been increasing its efforts to regulate the cryptocurrency industry and crack down on fraudulent schemes in recent years. The Department of Justice has created a cryptocurrency enforcement framework to help prosecutors identify and investigate cryptocurrency-related crimes.

In conclusion, the charges against Dilkinska highlight the ongoing legal action against those involved in the OneCoin scheme. Dilkinska faces a potential prison sentence of up to 40 years for her role in aiding the laundering of OneCoin’s proceeds. The case is another example of the US government’s efforts to crack down on fraudulent cryptocurrency schemes and regulate the cryptocurrency industry.


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OneCoin Founder Ruja Ignatova Added to FBI’s Most Wanted List

Ruja Ignatova, the fraudulent ‘CryptoQueen’ as she is known has been placed on the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) list of the ten most wanted criminals. The addition of Ruja was based on her use of her OneCoin crypto company to defraud millions of investors around the globe in a scheme valued at about $4 billion. (75).jpg

While OneCoin was marketed as a Bitcoin-killer when it was founded back in 2014, the project was marketed without a blockchain of its own like other digital currencies. Rather, subscribers were sold educational cryptocurrency trading packages and were tasked with the responsibility of onboarding family and friends in a complicated Ponzi scheme.

“OneCoin claimed to have a private blockchain,” said Special Agent Ronald Shimko, who is investigating the case out of the FBI’s New York Field Office. “This is in contrast to other virtual currencies, which have a decentralized and public blockchain. In this case, investors were just asked to trust OneCoin.”


The Eventual Collapse of OneCoin


The entire system collapsed as holders of the OneCoin token were unable to convert their holdings and only benefitted from the multilevel marketing aspect of the project. Ruja has been on the run since October 25, 2017, when she was last seen in Greece.


With investigations into OneCoin a multi-agency affair, the FBI had apprehended Ruja’s accomplices who joined hands to run the project, with one of those awaiting sentencing being her brother, Konstantin Ignatov. Despite his plea, Konstantin risks being sentenced to 98 years in prison.


The FBI said Ruja is ranked the 11th woman to be added to its 10 most wanted list since it was established 72 years ago. The law enforcement body said it has a massive bounty of $100,000 for anyone who can provide information that will lead to the arrest of Ruja Ignatova. The FBI said she might have changed her appearances, traveling on a false passport and has ties to her two countries, Bulgaria and Germany as well as Greece and the United Arab Emirates.


“There are so many victims all over the world who were financially devastated by this,” Shimko said. “We want to bring her to justice.”

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‘Castle’ production company’s new TV crypto comedy to drop an ep as an NFT

A scripted TV series that’s about crypto — and funded by it — is in development at Beacon Pictures, the independent production company behind “Bring It On”, and popular ABC drama “Castle.”

According to Deadline Hollywood, the 10 part TV crypto-comedy series “Hold on for Dear Life” —  a reference of sort to the slang term ‘Hodl’ — aims for principal photography to shoot in Puerto Rico from August.

The show, which was created by anonymous crypto insider calling themselves ‘Suhh Toshee’, will look to reflect the lives of crypto entrepreneurs, and hopefully be funded by them.  Beacon CEO Mark Pennell, told Deadline that:

“Crypto is about community. The show is an extension of that community. So, we embraced the innovation by creating an opportunity for crypto entrepreneurs to participate in a show that reflects many of their own stories.”

The project is raising funds via crypto by tokenizing the profits on Ethereum, enabling investors to receive their share of the proceeds directly to their wallets.

The producers also hope to cash in on the gold rush around NFT collectibles, with plans to mint a series of non-fungible tokens, as well as release the first-ever tokenized full episode of a TV show.

The storyline is focused on Mel, a young tech founder who launches a token named after her missing best friend Aveer and sets off with her band of “misfit” friends to make the Aveer token a success.

“To do so, they must overcome enemies, centralized powers and FUD (Fear Uncertainty Doubt)”

The series is set to feature cameos from figures in the crypto-world such as billionaire Bitcoin investor Tim Draper, and Crystal Rose, the CEO, and Founder of Sense.

As blockchain technology and cryptocurrency continue to creep their way into mainstream society, the appetite for crypto-based TV shows and movies is gaining momentum.

Cointelegraph reported on the development of the first-ever K-drama crypto-series “Romantic Hacker” in July 2020, which entails a fictional story of a Korean trading exchange being attacked by hackers.

In October, acclaimed actress Kate Winslet signed on to star in an MGM production portraying the founder of  the $4 billion OneCoin Ponzi scheme and in February ‘Silk Road’ was released depicting the lead up to the arrest darknet Silk Road founderRoss Ulbricht.

The story of how the Winklevoss twins became Bitcoin billionaires was also snapped up by Stampede Ventures earlier that year, and the same author that penned it, Ben Mezrich is working on a book and movie for MGM and book that details the GameStop saga.