OneCoin Exec Jailed for $4B Scam, $400M Laundered

OneCoin executive sentenced to four years for role in $4 billion crypto scam, as legal actions against participants continue.

By Jack Wilson

4/3, 17:14 EDT
Bitcoin / U.S. dollar

Key Takeaway

  • OneCoin's legal head, Irina Dilkinska, sentenced to four years for a role in the $4 billion crypto scam.
  • Dilkinska admitted to laundering over $400 million; joins several other defendants already sentenced.
  • The scheme involved global Ponzi operations and remains infamous with 'Cryptoqueen' Ruja Ignatova still at large.

OneCoin Scandal Unfolds Further

The OneCoin cryptocurrency scam, which defrauded investors of $4 billion, sees another participant sentenced. Irina Dilkinska, the legal and compliance head of the fraudulent scheme, received a four-year prison term from US District Judge Edgardo Ramos in New York. Dilkinska, extradited from Bulgaria, admitted to wire fraud and money-laundering conspiracy, specifically aiding in laundering over $400 million through fictitious Cayman Islands funds.

Key Figures Face Justice

Dilkinska's sentencing follows a series of legal actions against those involved in OneCoin. Mark Scott, a lawyer who facilitated the laundering of OneCoin proceeds, was sentenced to 10 years in prison in 2019, a conviction he is appealing. Co-founder Karl Sebastian Greenwood received a 20-year sentence in September. The scheme's figurehead, Ruja Ignatova, known as the “Cryptoqueen,” remains at large, listed among the FBI's Ten Most Wanted fugitives. Her brother, Konstantin Ignatov, also implicated, was sentenced to 34 months, equivalent to his time already served, acknowledging his cooperation with prosecutors.

The Mechanism of Fraud

OneCoin operated as a global Ponzi scheme, enticing members to recruit others into buying worthless cryptocurrency packages. From Q4 2014 to Q3 2016, OneCoin generated €3.4 billion ($3.7 billion) in revenue, despite offering no real value or traceability for investments. The scheme was primarily a marketing network, rewarding members for expanding the scam's reach. Despite generating substantial revenue, the scheme left hundreds of thousands of victims with little hope of recovering their investments.