Ponzi schemes and other frauds in the crypto ecosystem grew along with the global adoption of cryptocurrency. OneCoin is a prime example. Europol, however, is determined to close the case and get its promoters behind bars.
Europol added RujaIgnatova (founder of OneCoin Ponzi) to its list Europe’s most wanted fugitives on May 11. It offered a reward up to EUR5,000 for anyone who helped to locate her.
According to Europol information Ignatova was wanted for fraud-related offenses that have affected financial interests of people in the European Union.
Ruja Ignatova has been added to the Most Wanted List of Europol. Photo: Europol
OneCoin Helps Ignatova Raise More Than EUR5 Billion
Ignatova is believed to be behind the Ponzi scheme that led to the “OneCoin” cryptocurrency. It raised over EUR5 billion from investors in more 170 countries by the end 2007.
Ignatova, now a fugitive launched “OneCoin” in mid-2014 and sold it to investors as “Bitcoin Killer”. However, Ignatova fled, as she did with other Ponzi schemes like Bitconnect or Arbistar. She took billions of dollars with, feeling in danger.
The Italian Antitrust Authority issued an order against One Network Services Ltd [OneCoin] in December 2016. It described its activities as “illegal pyramid selling system”. However, the company’s accounts were frozen in different parts of the globe only in 2017.
For EUR1 Billion, On the Run
Europol claims that Ignatova’s whereabouts have not been known since October 25, 2017. This allegedly happened when she was aware that the US Government was investigating. Shortly after, she disappeared leaving Konstantin Ignatov, her brother (arrest in 2019), in charge of the project.
Europol also stated that OneCoin’s global losses amount to several billions dollars. It added that Ignatova, her friends, and anyone who is willing to cooperate with authorities, should be cautious.
“The fraud-related loss that has been established thus far is in the upper two-digit million range. Globally, the loss is likely to be several billion USD.
What did “OneCoin” do?
Onecoin was founded on the sale of educational materials and bundles for 100 to 118,000 Euros on cryptocurrency trading. These bundles contained “tokens”, which could be used to “mine” Onecoins.
The “coins” that were mined were rejected by all exchanges except the one offered by Xcoinx. This raised alarms and ultimately ended up destroying the entire Ponzi scheme that they had run for many years.
Xcoinx does not permit the exchange of onecoins for any other currency. Ignatova’s fortune was not measured or recovered.
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