At a press conference on Thursday at 11 a.m., the FBI is likely to say that OneCoin creator Ruja Ignatova has been added to its list of the Ten Most Wanted Fugitive.
A statement from the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York says that Ignatova “stole more than $4 billion from investors through the OneCoin cryptocurrency corporation.”
OneCoin’s business model was to give its members packages with instructions on how to trade bitcoins. Members who sold these packages to new members earned commissions. At its height, the scam said it had 3 million members, including people from all over the world who fell for it.
It didn’t use blockchain technology, though, so users couldn’t turn their tokens into cash or trade them for other cryptocurrencies. Those who made money from the plan did so by getting other people to invest.
Ignatova disappeared at the end of 2017. She is both Bulgarian and German. She was last seen in Athens, Greece, with two men who spoke Russian. Even though people have tried to find her, including the well-known BBC audio series “The Missing Cryptoqueen,” no one knows where she is now.
Other important leaders of OneCoin have also been arrested. In 2019, the Southern District of New York charged Ignatova and other OneCoin employees with fraud. Konstantin Ignatov, her younger brother, was one of them. Despite a plea deal, he could spend up to 90 years in prison.
In May, Ignatova was put on the list of people most wanted by Europol.