Abstract：Ruja Ignatova, the fake 'CryptoQueen,' as she is called, has been added to the FBI's list of the ten most sought criminals. Ruja's inclusion was predicated on her exploitation of her OneCoin crypto firm to swindle millions of investors worldwide in a $4 billion scheme.
Ruja Ignatova, the fake 'CryptoQueen,' as she is called, has been added to the FBI's list of the ten most sought criminals. Ruja's inclusion was predicated on her exploitation of her OneCoin crypto firm to swindle millions of investors worldwide in a $4 billion scheme.
When OneCoin was launched in 2014, it was touted as a Bitcoin-killer, although it lacked its own blockchain, unlike other digital currencies. Subscribers were instead sold educational cryptocurrency trading kits and tasked with enrolling family and friends into a complex Ponzi scheme.
“OneCoin claimed to have a private blockchain,” said Special Agent Ronald Shimko, who is investigating the case out of the FBIs 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.”
OneCoin Will Eventually Collapse
The entire system collapsed because holders of the OneCoin token were unable to convert their holdings and could only benefit from the project's multilevel marketing feature. Ruja has been on the run since her last sighting in Greece on October 25, 2017.
The FBI had caught Ruja's collaborators who had joined forces to manage the scheme, with one of those awaiting sentencing being her brother, Konstantin Ignatov, who was one of those awaiting sentencing. Despite his plea, Konstantin faces a prison sentence of 98 years.
Ruja is the 11th woman to be added to the FBI's top ten most wanted list since its inception 72 years ago. The law enforcement agency announced a $100,000 reward for anyone who can give information leading to Ruja Ignatova's arrest. According to the FBI, she may have changed her look, been traveling on a fraudulent passport, and has ties to her two nations, 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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