US law enforcement extradited OneCoin’s Legal and Compliance Head, Irina Dilkinska, from Bulgaria on Monday and charged her with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering. Both the charges individually carry a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.
Busting OneCoin – A $4 Billion Crypto Scam
OneCoin was one of the most notorious cryptocurrency scams that operated as a multi-level marketing scheme globally, defrauding more than 3 million people globally. The reach of the scheme even went to the smallest island nations.
OneCoin, co-founded by Karl Greenwood and Ruja Ignatova, operated between 2014 and 2016. According to the scheme’s records, it generated over €4 billion ($4.08 billion) in sales revenue and earned €2.7 billion in profits.
Dilkinska, as the Head of Legal and Compliance, played a major role in creating shell companies to launder the proceeds of OneCoin and hold properties for Ignatova. The court documents highlighted that Dilkinska helped Mark Scott, a former lawyer convicted in the US and now in jail for 50 years, launder around $400 million for OneCoin.
Additionally, she was accused of burning documents, which are now considered destroyed evidence, after learning about Scott’s arrest.
“Irina Dilkinska, the supposed Head of Legal and Compliance for the OneCoin cryptocurrency pyramid scheme, accomplished the exact opposite of her job title and allegedly enabled OneCoin to launder millions of dollars of illegal proceeds through shell companies,” said US Attorney Damian Williams. “Dilkinska helped perpetuate a wide-ranging scheme with millions of victims and billions of dollars in losses, and she will now face justice for her alleged crimes.”
Prosecuting OneCoin Associates
Dilkinska is one of the many associates of the multi-billion dollar fraudulent OneCoin scheme, who are now facing trials globally. Last December, the Co-Founder of the scheme, Greenwood, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering charges. However, the primary mastermind of the scheme, Ignatova, remains at large.
The whereabouts of Ignatova remain unknown as she disappeared from public view in October 2017 after reaching Greece on a commercial flight from Bulgaria. Her name is now on the FBI’s top ten “Most Wanted” person list. In addition, she is on the list of Europe’s most wanted fugitives.
Ignatova’s name suddenly appeared in suburban London real estate documents in January, as she purchased a penthouse for her company there. However, she did not reappear personally, as her lawyers named her as the ‘beneficial owner’ of the property, according to the new UK regulations.
Meanwhile, a Bulgarian media house reported the possibility of Ignatova being dead since 2018. Citing some documents, the publication claimed that she was killed by a former policeman for a druglord on a yacht in Greece in November 2018. Her body was allegedly dismembered and tossed into the Ionian Sea.