Onecoins Creator Ruja Ignatova aka “Cryptoqueen” is now on the FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted list

One of the co-founders of the Oneocoin, Ruja Ignatova, otherwise known as the ‘Cryptoqueen,’ has been added to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s list of Ten Most Wanted Fugitives on Thursday. In reserve to adding the Cryptoqueen to the most wanted list, the FBI is proposing a reward of up to $100K for tips that direct to the 42-year-old woman’s arrest.

Onecoin’s “Cryptoqueen” Is Currently on the FBI’s Top 10 Most Wanted List

Ruja Ignatova

Ruja Ignatova is well known for her involvement with the Onecoin Ponzi scheme, and it is assessed that the scam allegedly conned people out of $4 billion. The pyramid scheme publicized Onecoin as a blockchain project with a native cryptocurrency but there was no blockchain and no real crypto-asset behind the scam.

However, Onecoin’s management, recruits, and Ignatova advertised the project as if it was a “bitcoin killer.” From late 2014 to March 2016, Ignatova launched Onecoin sales and recruited members on a frequent basis. During the end of the scheme’s functional state, the organization issued a notice that said processes would pause for two weeks. By January 2017, the Onecoin exchange xcoinx shut down indefinitely and Ignatova disappeared.

OneCoin’s business model was to provide its member’s packages with instructions on how to trade bitcoins. Members who sold these packages to new members gained commissions. At its height, the scam stated it had 3 million members, including individuals from all over the world who fell for it.

It didn’t utilize blockchain technology, so users couldn’t trade their tokens into cash or trade them for other cryptocurrencies. Those who made money from the plan did so by bringing other people to invest.

Last November, findings that originated from a trial against Martin Breidenbach, Ignatova’s German attorney, had shown that the Cryptoqueen allegedly lived a luxurious lifestyle and purchased an $18.2 million London penthouse before she escaped. In mid-May 2022, the European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, Europol, added Ruja Ignatova to Europe’s Most Wanted Fugitives list.

Must Read, How to avoid scams and be safe on the decentralized web?

FBI Special Agent Shimko: ‘We Want to Bring Her to Justice’

On June 30, 2022, the FBI added the Cryptoqueen of Onecoin to the U.S.-based Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. The list presented in March 1950 was made to promote the capture of America’s criminal masterminds. Over the last 72 years, Ignatova enters the list as the 11th woman to be picked by the FBI.

“Onecoin claimed to have a private blockchain,” FBI special agent Ronald Shimko clarified in a statement on Thursday. “This is in contrast to other virtual currencies, which have a decentralized and public blockchain. In this case, investors were just requested to trust Onecoin.” Shimko added that he hopes Ignatova’s name on the list will bring more awareness to the case in order to strengthen the Cryptoqueen’s arrest. In the FBI press statement, Shimko concluded that there are so many victims all over the world who were financially wrecked by this. “We want to bring her to justice”.

Investigators state that before the Cryptoqueen fled, she had black hair and brown eyes, but the FBI believes she could have changed her physical appearance. The domestic intelligence and security service says Ignatova communicates fluent Bulgarian, German, and English.

She may be traveling on a defrauding passport and has known connections to Bulgaria, Germany, Russia, Greece, and the United Arab Emirates, the FBI’s press release further facts. The FBI is requesting tipsters to reach out to any local FBI office or the closest American Embassy to deliver information about the Cryptoqueen’s whereabouts.

Disappearance of CryptoQueen

Ignatova vanished at the end of 2017. She is both Bulgarian & German. She was last noticed in Athens, Greece, with two men who spoke Russian. Even though people have attempted to find her, including the well-known BBC audio series “The Missing Cryptoqueen,” no one actually knows where she is now.

Other important leaders of OneCoin have also been apprehended. In 2019, the Southern District of New York indicted Ignatova and other OneCoin employees with the scam. Konstantin Ignatov, her younger brother, was one of those people. Despite a plea deal, he could end up spending up to 90 years in prison.

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