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OneCoin Co-Founder Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison and Fined $300 Million in Landmark Crypto Scam Case

CryptoOneCoin Co-Founder Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison and Fined $300 Million in Landmark Crypto Scam Case

OneCoin co-founder Karl Sebastian Greenwood has been sentenced to 20 years in prison and fined $300 million by U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos. This decision was announced by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York on September 12. OneCoin, a notorious crypto scam, defrauded 3.5 million people of $4 billion.

Greenwood and “Crypto Queen” Ruja Ignatova co-founded OneCoin in Bulgaria in 2014, promoting it as a “financial revolution” and even calling it the “Bitcoin killer.” They used a global multi-level marketing (MLM) network to promote the scheme, with Greenwood playing a key role as a “global master distributor.”

Despite claiming that OneCoin had real value, it didn’t actually exist on the blockchain. Prosecutors stated that OneCoin was conceived as a fraud from the start, unlike legitimate cryptocurrencies. The scheme generated approximately $4 billion in revenue, with Greenwood earning $300 million in commissions from monthly OneCoin sales. He spent this money on personal luxuries, resorts, a private plane labeled “OneCoin,” and travel.

Greenwood was arrested in Thailand and extradited to the U.S. in 2018. In December 2022, he pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering charges and referred to investors as “idiots” in an internal message.

Ruja Ignatova, the “Crypto Queen,” remains a fugitive, last seen flying to Greece in 2017. She is on the FBI’s Most Wanted list. Her advisor Frank Schneider, who was set to stand trial in December 2022, disappeared before extradition to the U.S.

Irina Dilkinska, the supposed Head of Legal and Compliance for OneCoin, was charged by authorities in March 2023. Christopher Hamilton, another accomplice, was scheduled for extradition in 2022 but is currently contesting the order. Mark Scott was found guilty in 2019.

Various other individuals associated with the OneCoin crypto scam are facing charges, have been found guilty, or are currently evading authorities.

By FCCT Editorial Team

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are independent views solely of the author(s) expressed in their private capacity.

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