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Who is ‘cryptoqueen’ Ruja Ignatova, now among FBI’s ten most wanted

The 42-year-old woman, who was born in Bulgaria, is suspected by investigators of scamming sufferers out of more than $4 billion (€3. 83 billion) through the cryptocurrency enterprise she created in 2014.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation added Dr. Ruja Ignatova, the self-described “crypto queen,” to its list of the Ten Most Wanted Fugitives on Thursday. Ignatova is accused of being the mastermind of what is certainly considered one of the most important cryptocurrency fraud schemes ever (June 30).

The 42-year-old woman, who was born in Bulgaria, is suspected by investigators of scamming sufferers out of more than $4 billion (€3. eighty-three billion) through the cryptocurrency enterprise she created in 2014.

OneCoin's 'Cryptoqueen' Ruja Ignatova Added to FBI's Most-Wanted List -  Bloomberg

Ignatova has been missing since 2017 when the US government issued the first arrest warrant for her. The FBI now offers a $100,000 reward for any information that leads to her capture. According to Forbes, she is simply the eleventh female to be indexed on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitive List within the listing’s 72-year existence.

Old rip-off with a digital twist

Ruja Ignatova had an excellent CV before committing one of the most famous cryptocurrency frauds, which included an Oxford regulation diploma and a stint with McKinsey. After founding OneCoin Ltd. in 2014, the “crypto queen” began to sell her cryptocurrency as a “bitcoin killer.” Investigators declare that Ignatova made fraudulent claims so one could get huge sums of cash from buyers, many of whom have been surprised with the way to put money into cryptocurrencies.

The company had over three million buyers from over 100 countries, and it operated globally. Records determined at some stage in the inquiry determined that OneCoin on its own produced a staggering €3.353 billion in income sales and €2.232 billion in “profits” in the fourth quarter of 2014 and the 0.33 region of 2016.

Damian Williams, the lead federal prosecutor in Manhattan, said that the woman “timed her rip-off precisely, capitalizing on the feverish hypothesis of the early days of Bitcoin.”

Ignatova allegedly charged clients a fee if they bought OneCoin from different people, a good way to lure even more humans into buying her fictitious currency. She also allegedly promised buyers big returns at low risk.

It was created with the explicit goal of scamming buyers, consistent with IRS Special Agent in Charge John R. Tafur, who termed it “a vintage swindle with a digital twist.” According to Ignatova, the “go out plan” for OneCoin became to “take the cash and move and blame someone else,” consistent with an electronic message that became exposed at some stage in the inquiry.

The Missing Cryptoqueen podcast: the true story of Ruja Ignatova

According to investigators, it became clear that it was a Ponzi rip-off from the start that became misrepresented as a cryptocurrency. Ponzi schemes are a form of fraud wherein a culprit ensures buyers above-common returns at little to no risk. Early buyers are reimbursed by gaining new buyers. Investors lose their cash when there aren’t sufficient individuals to guide extra rounds of investment.

How the rip-off worked

The falsifications Ignatova and different OneCoin salespeople are accused of defrauding clients through a chain of fraudulent and misleading claims.

They had boasted that the One Coin cryptocurrency became “mined” through the usage of mining servers and that its fee became decided through marketplace delivery and demand, with the fee allegedly growing from €0.50 to about €29.95, consistent with a coin in January 2019. In reality, OneCoin was never mined, and its fee was completely installed by Ignatova and her co-conspirators.

Ruja Ignatova The 'Crypto Queen' Is Added To FBI's 10 Most Wanted List

OneCoin also claimed to be a blockchain (a virtual ledger that identifies and records the currency’s recorded transactions), which is used by other cryptocurrencies. The OneCoin tokens have been correctly void due to the fact that they couldn’t be actively traded, couldn’t be used to buy anything, and buyers had no approach to monitoring their funds.

“OneCoin claimed to have a personal blockchain,” stated FBI Special Agent Ronald Shimko, consistent with an AFP article. “This is in comparison to different digital currencies, which function as public and decentralized blockchains.” “In this scenario, buyers have been virtually entreated to trust OneCoin,” he explained.

Ignatov reportedly often told OneCoin participants that the corporation would keep a “preliminary public supply” on numerous dates between 2018 and 2019, so one could generate pleasure and appeal for additional cash from the sufferers. However, consistent with the FBI, this supply was again and again postponed and in no way took place.

The ‘crypto queen’ vanished into thin air in 2017, whilst investigators from everywhere in the world started searching for her. After developing suspicion of her partner, Ignatova bugged his residence. She directly took a flight from Bulgaria to Greece after gaining knowledge that he was taking part in FBI research into OneCoin and has now no longer been visible on account of that.

She speaks English, German, and Bulgarian and may have a cast-off passport. According to the New York Post, she has brown eyes and darkish hair. However, police trust she has changed her look.

Ignatova was eventually charged with conspiracy to commit card fraud, card fraud, conspiracy to engage in cash laundering, securities fraud, and conspiracy to commit securities fraud by US authorities.

Cryptoqueen' Ruja Ignatova to Be Added to FBI's Most-Wanted List | Tech News

According to The Washington Post, the primary four crimes are punished by up to twenty years in jail, even as the fifth is penalized by as much as five years.

Her brother, Konstantin Ignatov, took over the corporation in 2017. However, in 2019, the FBI detained him in Los Angeles for card fraud. According to The Washington Post, after pleading responsible for quite a few charges, he agreed to help US investigators.

In 2019, US company attorney Mark Scott was convicted of laundering $400 million for OneCoin.

Edited by Prakriti Arora



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