Justice has prevailed in another scam related crypto case which saw more than $3 billion stolen from victims. A leader of the group behind the crypto ponzi scam OneCoin has been arrested and now facing charges in the U.S.
OneCoin Ponzi Scam
The OneCoin ponzi scam leader who goes by the name Konstantin Ignatov and his sister Ruja founded the website in 2014. Ruja who is also facing multiple charges of fraud and money laundering is currently at large.
According to prosecutors, since its creation in 2014, the scam has generated $3.8 billion in revenue by Q3 2016. The OneCoin ‘tokens’ rose in alleged value from 50 euro cents to nearly €30 — this was done without the scam coin having a blockchain, utility, or a way of monitoring it.
Just like all Ponzi schemes, the project survived on money pumped into it by new investors. The existing members are then rewarded for bringing more people unto the platform. Since the news of its methods came to light, the coin has been labeled and flagged by several media as an MLM pyramid scheme. Several financial authorities across many countries also banned its activities within their borders.
However, this fact didn’t deter the project from pushing forward and scamming people. The team behind the project, after this heat from the media and authorities, went further to announce an initial public offering (IPO)in early 2017. Before the IPO could take place, the founding leader, Ruja Ignatova disappeared from the public eye, and the affairs of the company were taken over by her brother last year.
After this, Ignatov got arrested at the Los Angeles International Airport on charges of conspiring to commit wire fraud. His sister has also been indicted in absentia for money laundering — as well as wire and securities fraud.
Regarding this, Manhattan US Attorney, Geoffrey Berman, made a statement saying that: As alleged, these defendants created a multibillion-dollar ‘cryptocurrency’ company based completely on lies and deceit. They promised big returns and minimal risk, but, as alleged, this business was a pyramid scheme based on smoke and mirrors more than zeroes and ones.
Another legal practitioner, New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance added that: “These defendants executed an old-school pyramid scheme on a new-school platform.”