Three people are facing trial in Germany for their roles in one of the crypto world’s most notorious scams, Onecoin. The accused accused of fraud, among other charges, are believed to have committed when they aided the mastermind of the pyramid scheme, ‘Cryptoqueen’ Ruja Ignatova, who is still on the run.
Lawyer and couple face criminal charges in Germany for role in Onecoin scam
A husband and wife as well as a lawyer from Munich are now among the first in Europe to face criminal charges for their part in the Onecoin cryptocurrency scam. On Tuesday, they appeared in a German court, Bloomberg reported.
These three have been charged with money laundering, fraud and banking crimes in connection with a multi-billion dollar fraud scheme. The pyramid was founded and managed by Ruja Ignatova, a German national of Bulgarian descent, dubbed ‘Cryptoqueen.’
The lawyer allegedly transferred 20 million euros ($19.7 million) to the Cayman Islands on behalf of Ignatova to purchase two apartments in London for 75 million euros. The couple was charged with processing €320 million in payments from Onecoin customers within a year.
The German indictment indicates that the pyramid deceived people by falsely claiming that Onecoin was a cryptocurrency with a market-determined value. Investors were also told that it could be mined at a rate of 50,000 coins per minute. In the courtroom, prosecutors explained:
In fact, the growing value is fake and the mining process is simulated only by software.
Cryptoqueen Ruja is still missing, wanted by Europe and America
Onecoin was founded in 2014 and has an office in the Bulgarian capital Sofia, which was raided by law enforcement after Ruja Ignatova went missing. Cryptoqueen was last seen boarding a Ryanair flight to Athens on October 25, 2017.
Ignatova is currently wanted by Interpol, Europol and the US Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for misappropriating at least $4 billion from Onecoin customers. In July, Greek media revealed that Greek Police had been unsuccessfully trying to locate and arrest her this year, based on information she had met with specific people.
After Ignatova disappeared from the public eye in late 2017, her brother Konstantin Ignatov took over, but he was later arrested in Los Angeles in 2019. Konstantin pleaded guilty and sought protection. of the witness. In the United States, Ignatova has been charged with wire and securities fraud as well as money laundering.
In August, it was reported that Christopher Hamilton, a British citizen accused of money laundering and electricity fraud in connection with the Onecoin scam, Christopher Hamilton, had lost his case to avoid extradition to the United States and would be arrested. surrendered to US authorities.
At some point, the crypto pyramid claimed to have over 3 million members around the world, generating around €3.4 billion in revenue in less than two years operating as a multi-channel marketing network. level, from the end of 2014 to the third quarter of 2016.
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