Who is Ruja Ignatova? The FBI’s Most Wanted ‘Crypto Queen’
Ruja Ignatova, “Crypto Queen” in disgrace the time spent running away may be coming to an end.
Ignatova, 42 years old, German citizen born in Bulgaria, is a former crypto pioneer who disappeared in October 2017 after overpromising high returns on her crypto token OneCoin for $4 billion Ponzi scheme. She now faces multiple fraud charges and has been on the run from the FBI for five years.
Although she has not been seen since her disappearance, a new list of flats in London suggests she is alive and escaping arrest.
Ignatova, the only woman on the FBI’s most wanted list, was recently revealed to be linked to £11million [$13.6 million] penthouse apartment for sale in Kensington, England, thanks to a new rule change by UK Companies House, which acts in the same way as the US Public Company Accounting Oversight Board.
The rule now requires properties bought by companies to also list a beneficiary, and although Ignatova is believed to have originally bought the house under a shell company, a new filing with UK financial regulators lists Ignatova as the “beneficial owner” of the property – inadvertently revealing her whereabouts.
Ignatova’s connection to the house was first spotted by the host of “The missing crypto-queen“Podcast, Jamie Bartlett.
“[The document] suggests that she is still alive, and there are documents somewhere that contain vital clues to her recent whereabouts,” Bartlett said. iNews.
Since Ignatova’s link to the house, which appeared on the Knight Frank real estate website, was confirmed, the listing has been removed.
Here’s what to know about the disgraced “Crypto Queen.”
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Who is Ruja Ignatova?
Before Ruja Ignatova became one of 11 women to appear on the FBI’s most wanted list in its 72-year history, she was considered a rising star in the crypto industry.
Ignatova was known to love glitz and glamour, for CNN, and was revered for growing from humble beginnings in Germany to success as a consultant and then crypto entrepreneur.
Along with trading partner Sebastian Greenwood, the pair convinced investors to back their OneCoin crypto token which they claim is more valuable than Bitcoin. However, authorities found that OneCoin defrauded investors out of $4 billion in one of the greatest international fraud schemes of all time.
“The OneCoins were totally worthless…(Their) lies were engineered for one purpose, to get ordinary people around the world to part with their hard-earned money,” US prosecutors said, according to court documents.
Additionally, court documents reveal that Ignatova and Greenwood intended to mislead their clients from the start, calling their own token a “trash coin” and discussing an exit strategy in private emails.
Their scheme imploded in 2016 when investors struggled to sell their OneCoins to recoup their investments, alerting media and investigators to look into the company.
Then, in October 2017, the US Department of Justice charged Ignatova with one count of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, securities fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud. in securities and conspiracy to launder money, a federal judge issuing a warrant. Stop, court documents State.
But Ignatova fled on a flight from Sofia, Bulgaria to Athens, Greece just two weeks after the warrant was issued and has not been seen since.
The FBI has offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to his arrest. Additionally, they stated, “Ignatova is believed to be traveling with armed guards and/or associates. Ignatova may have undergone plastic surgery or otherwise altered her appearance.”
The #FBI named Ruja Ignatova to its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. She is wanted for her alleged participation in a large-scale fraud scheme involving cryptocurrency. Up to $100,000 reward offered for information leading to his arrest: https://t.co/oU7EKYqaCi pic.twitter.com/tJ8co8aqx0
— FBI Most Wanted (@FBImostWanted) June 30, 2022
What happened to OneCoin?
Ruja Ignatova and her co-founder lured people to their OneCoin program starting in 2014 by promising investors around the world a five- or ten-fold return on investment.
Taking advantage of the crypto frenzy at the time, investors gave them $4 billion between 2014 and 2016. However, OneCoin’s value was manipulated by the company and it was never mined like other cryptocurrencies. currencies, despite telling investors otherwise, according to CNN.
Once regulators discovered the scheme and Ignatova disappeared, she left her partners to deal with the fallout.
Co-founder Sebastian Greenwood was arrested in July 2018. He is currently in prison after pleading guilty to wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to launder money. He is expected to be sentenced in April.
Ignatova’s brother, Konstantin Ignatov, who was also part of the business scheme, was arrested in March 2019 and is expected to be sentenced in February after pleading guilty to wire fraud conspiracy, money laundering and fraud charges. .
Since the scandal broke, OneCoin has been shut down and its website is no longer active.
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What is Ruja Ignatova net worth?
A lawsuit filed by victims against OneCoin found that Ignatova had $500 million in bank accounts in Dubai in 2021, according to a report by Financial discoveries. It’s unclear how much crypto she holds, but the outlet found out that she was paid 230,000 Bitcoins by a member of the Emirati royal family in 2015.
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