Onecoin Cryptoqueen Associates Appear in German Court – Bitcoin News

Three people are facing trial in Germany for their roles in one of the crypto world’s most infamous scams, Onecoin. The defendants are accused of fraud, among other crimes, allegedly committed as they assisted the pyramid scheme’s mastermind, ‘Cryptoqueen’ Ruja Ignatova, who is still on the run.

Germany: Lawyer and couple face criminal allegations over their roles in Onecoin Scam

The Onecoin scam involves a husband and wife, as well an attorney from Munich. These are the first Europeans to be charged with criminal offenses. Bloomberg reported that the couple appeared before a German court on Tuesday.

These three were charged with money laundering, fraud and other banking crimes related to the fraud scheme that cost multibillions of dollars. The pyramid was founded and managed by Bulgarian-born German national Ruja Ignatova, dubbed the ‘Cryptoqueen.’

The lawyer allegedly transferred €20 million ($19.7 million) to the Cayman Islands on behalf of Ignatova for the purchase of two London apartments for €75 million euros. The couple are charged with handling €320 million in payments from Onecoin customers within a year.

German authorities indictment reveals that Onecoin’s pyramid claimed that it was a cryptocurrency of market-determined value. Investors were told it could be mined at an incredible rate of 50,000 coins every minute. Prosecutors explained the following:

The ever-growing price was fake, and the simulation of the mining process only made it appear that way.

America and Europe Still Want Cryptoqueen Ruja

Onecoin was established in 2014 and had an office in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, which was raided by law enforcement after Ruja Ignatova’s disappearance. On Oct. 25, 2017, the Cryptoqueen boarded a Ryanair flight headed for Athens.

Interpol, Europol and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), are seeking Ignatova’s arrest for taking at least $4Billion from Onecoin clients. According to Greek media, Ignatova was not found by the Hellenic Police this year. They had acted on specific information she shared with them.

Ignatova went missing in 2017 and Konstantin Ignatov, her brother took control. However, he was eventually arrested in Los Angeles in 2019 Konstantin plead guilty to the charges and requested witness protection. Ignatova was charged in the U.S. with money laundering and wire and securities fraud.

Christopher Hamilton (a British national, accused of wire fraud and money laundering in connection to Onecoin scam) was reported to have lost his appeal to be extradited to the United States. He would now be surrendered to U.S. officials.

At some point, the crypto pyramid claimed to have more than 3 million members around the world, generating some €3.4 billion euros in revenue in less than two years of operation as a multilevel marketing network, between late 2014 and the third quarter of 2016.

This story contains tags
accused, attorney. Attorney, charges, couple. Court. Cryptoqueen. Defendants, Fraud. german, Germany. Lawyer, missing. Prosecutor, Pyramid. Ruja. Ignatova. Scam. Trial.

What do you think the Onecoin crypto-pyramid scheme will lead to more arrests? Please comment below with your opinions.

Lubomir Tatseva

Lubomir Tassev is a journalist from tech-savvy Eastern Europe who likes Hitchens’s quote: “Being a writer is what I am, rather than what I do.” Besides crypto, blockchain and fintech, international politics and economics are two other sources of inspiration.

Credits for the imageShutterstock. Pixabay. Wiki Commons

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