Alleged OneCoin ‘Cryptoqueen’ Associates Face Charges in Germany
Three people associated with notorious OneCoin founder Ruja Ignatova have appeared in a German court facing charges over their alleged roles in a multibillion-dollar fraud operation.
The associates of the famous “Cryptoqueen” fugitive businesswoman are accused of money laundering, fraud, and banking crimes, Bloomberg reported.
One man, a Munich lawyer who worked for Ignatova, is alleged to have transferred €20 million ($19.7 million) via the Cayman Islands on her behalf to buy two apartments in London.
On this #FugitiveFriday, check out the latest episode of #InsideTheFBI to learn how Ruja Ignatova, also known as the "Cryptoqueen," became the newest addition to the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. Listen now on your favorite #podcast player: — FBI (@FBI) August 26, 2022
The other two defendants are a husband and wife, who are accused of handling €320 million ($314.72 million) worth of OneCoin customers’ money.
Prosecutors said that the now-infamous OneCoin was a scam designed to make customers believe they were investing in a cryptocurrency whose value was determined by market mechanisms. In reality, they told the court, the coin’s value was fake and the mining process was simulated by software.
The proceedings in Germany represent some of the first actions taken in Europe against people alleged to have been involved in the ruse.
Where is the Cryptoqueen?
The whereabouts of Ignatova, who set up OneCoin in 2014, have been unknown since 2017.
Earlier this year, she landed on both Europol’s and the FBI’s most wanted lists.
As the subject of a popular BBC podcast, The Missing Cryptoqueen, she has become a notorious figure in both the crypto space and beyond.
In August, a British judge approved the extradition to the United States of another of her alleged accomplices, Christopher Hamilton.
Meanwhile, Ignatova’s brother Konstantin Ignatov, who took over the business after she disappeared from the public eye, pled guilty in 2019 to fraud and money laundering in relation to OneCoin.Source