Three people involved in the notorious “OneCoin” scam have been arrested and are facing charges in a German court for their role in the multi-billion dollar scam.
Three accomplices of Ruja Ignatova (a.k.a Cryptoqueen), the now-wanted founder of crypto’s biggest scam OneCoin, are currently facing charges in Germany. The trio – a lawyer and married couple – were accused of money laundering, fraud, and banking crime in connection with their role in the OneCoin scam.
The lawyer who allegedly worked for Ignatova was accused of transferring €20 million via the Caymans Islands on her behalf to purchase two apartment buildings in London. The couples were accused of handling €320 million ($314,72 million), the victims’ payment to the OneCoin scheme.
Cryptoqueen launched OneCoin in 2014. With false claims of steady profits from price growth and mining, OneCoin attracted a massive number of investors who put their lifetime assets and finance into the investment scheme. At the height of the scheme in 2017, Ignatova disappeared from the public eye.
“In reality, the ever-growing value was a fake and the mining process was only simulated by the software,” the prosecutors said.
As with everything Ponzi scheme, OneCoin eventually reached its peak and crashed, causing investors losses of about $4 billion, according to reports. Cryptoqueen’s brother, Konstantin Ignatov, who steered the project after her disappearance, was arrested in 2019 and pleaded guilty to the charges against him in the United States.
Cryptoqueen is yet to be apprehended. Her whereabouts are presently unknown. However, both the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Europol have added her to their most-wanted fugitive lists.
Investment scams were a “thorn in the flesh” for the cryptocurrency industry during the early years. However, the rate of such fraudulent activities has decreased probably as many investors can now read between the lines of new investment offerings. Nevertheless, the crypto industry now suffers from a high rate of protocol hacks.