Mark Scott, a US lawyer accused of laundering proceeds from the OneCoin cryptocurrency – alleged to be a Ponzi scheme scam – went on trial in New York. He was accused of laundering approximately $400 million through hedge funds and transferring that back to his colleagues.
OneCoin claims to be a digital currency similar to Bitcoin and the founders are thought to have raised an estimated $4bn worldwide, including millions from the UK, since it began in 2015.
It was founded in Bulgaria by Dr Ruja Ignatova, who disappeared in 2017 and her brother Konstantin Ignatov, who ran the company in her absence and has since been arrested in the US.
The Sales Pitch
Dr Ruja, told her audience that the future belonged to cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, which had made millions for many investors and were free of the high cost of traditional banking.
She offered an alternative – a perfectly safe cryptocurrency of her own devising called OneCoin. She exhorted people to join this financial revolution that would become bigger than Bitcoin within a few years
It is estimated that up to 70,000 people in the UK may have invested with OneCoin and hence lost everything.
It appears to have been a fraud from the beginning as investors trying to retrieve their money found out, when they couldn’t get anything back.
The banks realised it was a scam and stopped doing business with OneCoin. So Ruja moved to using money laundering with people such as Mark Scott.
The officials are keenly trying to find Ruja to put her on trial as well.
If you have any experiences with Onecoin, do let me know, by email.