Ruja Ignatova, the Founder of OneCoin, is now on FBI’s Most Wanted List
- Ignatova is accused of orchestrating a crypto Ponzi scheme that duped $4 billion of investors’ funds.
- Ignatova was added to Europol’s most-wanted list earlier this year.
The OneCoin digital currency Ponzi scheme is believed to have defrauded investors of more than $4 billion, making it one of the largest frauds in history. The schemers behind it, including founder Ruja Ignatova, lured victims with the promise of huge returns and used a complex multi-level marketing scheme to keep them invested.
Ignatova is now on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list, with a $5 million reward for information leading to her capture. The bureau believes she may have fled the country and could be hiding in Bulgaria, Germany, Italy, or Dubai.
Investors who were duped by the scheme are now struggling to get their money back. Many have lost their life savings and been left deeply in debt. Some have even committed suicide. The OneCoin scandal has had far-reaching consequences and its victims will likely never see justice.
If convicted, she faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. OneCoin has been described as a ” pyramid scheme” by law enforcement and regulators around the world. The project raised billions of dollars from investors before collapsing in 2019. Ignatova went missing in October 2017, shortly after OneCoin’s offices were raided by authorities in Bulgaria.
The OneCoin Ponzi scheme has been under investigation by U.S. authorities since 2015, and Ignatova has been a person of interest in the case since 2017. In 2019, a class-action lawsuit was filed against her, OneCoin, and several other OneCoin executives. The suit alleged that the defendants had defrauded investors out of billions of dollars.
When they did not respond to the suit, a default judgment was awarded to the plaintiffs. Ignatova is believed to have fled the country in 2017, and her whereabouts are currently unknown. Her brother, Konstantin Ignatov, took over her role as leader of OneCoin after she disappeared. Konstantin was arrested by U.S. authorities in March 2019 and charged with money laundering and wire fraud. He is currently awaiting trial. If convicted, Ignatova faces up to 20 years in prison for each charge of wire fraud and money laundering.