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‘Crypto Queen’ Wanted: FBI Puts $5 Million Price Tag On OneCoin Founder’s Arrest

Started by Bitcoin, Jun 27, 2024, 10:48 am

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'Crypto Queen' Wanted: FBI Puts $5 Million Price Tag On OneCoin Founder's Arrest

The United States government has recently announced a substantial reward of up to $5 million for any information leading to the arrest of Ruja Ignatova, the founder of OneCoin. 

This development comes as part of a joint investigation conducted by Bulgarian and American authorities into a large-scale financial fraud and money laundering scheme

One Of The FBI’s Most Wanted

Bulgaria’s temporary chief prosecutor, Borislav Sarafov, highlighted the collaborative efforts between Bulgarian and US law enforcement agencies in tackling the case. Sarafov emphasized the ongoing investigations in both countries against Ignatova, who is facing charges related to the notorious OneCoin financial pyramid scheme. 

Furthermore, Sarafov revealed plans to initiate legal proceedings in Bulgaria, aiming to charge Ignatova in absentia and facilitate the seizure of assets acquired through illicit means.


US Ambassador Kenneth Merten underscored the gravity of the charges against Ignatova, labeling the OneCoin scheme as one of the largest frauds in history. Victims of this scheme have allegedly been defrauded of over $4 billion. 

Plamen Tonchev, the head of Bulgaria’s State Agency “National Security” (SANS), shed light on Ignatova’s role in the OneCoin scheme, describing it as a "fraudulent financial operation" closely resembling a pyramid scheme

The Rise And Fall Of OneCoin

The story of OneCoin dates back to 2014, when Ruja Ignatova founded the company, claiming that it functioned just like any other cryptocurrency. However, it was revealed that there was no authentic OneCoin blockchain model or payment system. 

As questions and investigations started to arise in multiple countries, with some labeling it a pyramid scheme, the credibility of OneCoin began to crumble. 

The Norwegian Direct Selling Association was among the first to denounce the fraud as a pyramid scheme in March 2016, followed by a warning from the Hungarian Central Bank in May of the same year.

In 2017, OneCoin falsely claimed to be the first company licensed by the Vietnamese government for use as a digital currency, a claim that Vietnam promptly refuted. The following year, the Bulgarian police raided OneCoin’s office, resulting in Ignatova’s disappearance when an arrest warrant was issued. 

Ignatova’s brother, Konstantin Ignatov, subsequently assumed company leadership, while co-founder Sebastian Greenwood was arrested in 2018. Konstantin himself was apprehended in November 2019 and later pleaded guilty to fraud and money laundering charges. 

Ignatova, a fugitive since evading arrest by fleeing from Sofia to Athens in 2017, was added to the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted Fugitives list in 2022. 


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