US Adds “Cryptoqueen” to Most Wanted List for $ 4 Billion Fraud Suspect

New York — German citizens accused of tricking investors from $ 4 billion by selling a fake cryptocurrency called OneCoin have been added to the list of FBI’s 10 most wanted people, U.S. officials said Thursday. rice field.

Ruja Ignatova, also known as the “Cryptoqueen,” was charged in 2019 with eight charges, including wire fraud and securities fraud, for running Bulgarian-based OneCoin Ltd. as a mud scheme. The prosecution says the company has offered members a fee to seduce others to buy worthless cryptocurrencies.

“She used the early enthusiastic speculation of cryptocurrencies to perfectly time her plans,” said Damian Williams, Manhattan’s Supreme Federal Prosecutor.

Williams described OneCoin as “one of the largest Ponzi schemes in history.”

According to Williams, Ignatova disappeared in late 2017 after eavesdropping on an apartment owned by an American boyfriend and learning that he was cooperating with OneCoin in an FBI investigation. She boarded a plane from Bulgaria to Greece and he said she hadn’t been seen since.

The FBI is offering a $ 100,000 bounty for information that could lead to the arrest of Ignatova, said Michael Driscol, FBI’s assistant director for New York.

Driscoll declined to comment on the lead on where Ignatova is. The agency will add fugitives to its most desired list if it believes the general public may be able to assist in the pursuit of the suspect.

“She left with a huge amount of cash,” Driscoll told reporters. “Her money can buy a lot of friends, and I imagine she’s using it.”

Ignatova was charged with former legal counsel Mark Scott, who said the prosecutor had laundered about $ 400 million for OneCoin. Scott was convicted of a money laundering plot and a bank fraud plot after a three-week trial in federal court in Manhattan.

By Luc Cohen