Dr Ruja Ignatova, founder of OneCoin, has been put on Europol’s most-wanted record for her purpose in a multibillion pound cryptocurrency rip-off.
The fraud is deemed a single of the biggest frauds in historical past, and is predicted to have hustled as considerably as £12.7 billion from investors. It was also the topic of the BBC’s ‘The Missing Cryptoqueen’ podcast in 2019.
When it initially arrived out, OneCoin was marketed as an alternate to Bitcoin but was in truth a Ponzi-style fraud that conned people from 175 international locations out of at minimum £4 billion.
Now, the EU’s regulation enforcement company is presenting a reward of just beneath £4,300 (€5,000) for information and facts main to the Bulgarian native’s arrest soon after 5 several years on the run.
It claimed Ignatova was ‘the driving force and mental inventor’ of OneCoin and ‘is suspected of having prompted investors all over the world to spend in this worthless currency’.
The 41-calendar year-previous created OneCoin in 2014 in Sofia, Bulgaria, and claimed it experienced much more than a few million customers globally.
It created a whopping £2.9 billion (€3.4 billion) in income from the fourth quarter of 2014 to the 3rd quarter of 2016.
Prosecutors told a US court docket in 2019 that Ignatova headed the organisation right up until she vanished from the public eye in October 2017, and her brother, Konstantin, took in excess of her management placement in the center of 2018.
Curiously, most of her vital alleged collaborators have either been arrested or jailed, most notably her brother Konstantin, as perfectly as OneCoin’s co-founder Karl Sebastian Greenwood, her corporate law firm Mark Scott, and her husband or wife Gilbert Armenta.
Journalist Jamie Bartlett, who is the host of BBC podcast ‘The Missing Cryptoqueen’, reported Europol’s reward will do minor to entice a person when Ignatova has so much well worth at her fingertips.
He explained to VICE Globe News: “They would not obtain her by offering that form of revenue. The individuals who will have data about her whereabouts will not be tempted to possibility becoming harmed or killed for €5,000 and I seriously don’t consider it’s adequate to tempt those who may be shielding her both.”
Bartlett extra that he thinks Ignatova is ‘travelling on a fake passport underneath a pretend name with a diverse face’ and said that her arrest at an airport would be ‘extremely unlikely’ even with Europol’s new attraction.
Regardless of the scam staying publicly unmasked virtually three many years ago, Barlett disclosed that the company originally behind the OneCoin is still keeping situations to catch the attention of buyers in Latin The usa as well as sections of Asia and in Romania.