Cryptoqueen partner sentenced to 20 years in US prison
Last Updated on 6 November 2023 by CryptoTips.eu
Ms Ruja Ignatova, infamous as the missing ‘cryptoqueen’ because of the pyramid scheme OneCoin with which she amassed some 5 billion dollars in 2014-2016, is still missing. Her partner Karl however, the co-founder of OneCoin, has now been sentenced to twenty years in prison in the United States.
46-year-old Karl Greenwood founded the OneCoin phenomenon together with Ruja. Both presented the cryptocurrency OneCoin as being the new Bitcoin (when Bitcoin was still trading around $1,000) and amassed billions of dollars from eager investors. However, it was clear from the start that Karl and Ruja had planned to set up a pyramid scheme where you could only make money by selling more OneCoin to the next person.
The "Cryptoqueen" behind OneCoin scammed investors out of $4 billion!— Markets & Mayhem 🤖 (@Mayhem4Markets) September 13, 2023
She is now on the FBI's top 10 most wanted list as a fugitive. 👮♂️ pic.twitter.com/63XbwhtDdD
4 billion dollars
The problem was that OneCoin was never really launched and new investors had to be found all the time to keep the scheme going. When authorities worldwide learned that some 5 million people had invested in it already, they started to investigate. When Ruja and Karl noticed the police raiding their place, they fled. Karl was arrested shortly afterwards.
He was found to be in possession of $300 million dollars through OneCoin investments. Other accounts worth approximately $500 million were found in the company buildings, which were also seized.
The cofounder and main promoter of the $4 billion OneCoin pyramid scheme was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role in one of the first and biggest criminal frauds involving cryptocurrency https://t.co/3et7fepX3S— Bloomberg Crypto (@crypto) September 12, 2023
The remaining $4 billion was never recovered and Ruja remains missing to this day.
Rumors say that she has since assumed a different identity and had plastic surgery to change her face.
The FBI has put her on the list of the 10 most wanted people in the world and the reward for any information about her has risen to $250,000. Last year, a BBC podcast series about her, called ‘the missing crypto queen’, went viral.