A lawyer involved in the infamous One Coin cryptocurrency scam has been found guilty of both fraud and money laundering. Mark Scott – an attorney who garnered a near $50 million fee for routing approximately $400 million on behalf of the scam’s founder – is now facing 50 years in prison; one year for every million he potentially earned.
Scott Faces Jail Time for His Role
Lawyers for Scott claimed that he did not realize One Coin had no value, and that he was simply doing a job assigned to him by Dr. Ruja Ignatova, who took part in building the scam. Unfortunately, a jury – following a three-week trial – thought otherwise, claiming Scott may have known about the scam when he took part in its operations.
Manhattan U.S. attorney Geoffrey S. Berman explained in a statement:
Mark S. Scott, an equity partner at a prominent international law firm, used his specialized knowledge as an experienced corporate lawyer to set up fake investment funds, which he used to launder hundreds of millions of dollars of fraud proceeds. He lined his pockets with over $50 million of the money stolen from victims of the One Coin scheme. Scott, who boasted of earning ’50 by 50’ now faces 50 years in prison for his crimes.
Cryptocurrency is far from being the dangerous haven politicians make it out to be, but it is still relatively unsafe granted people don’t always understand the nature of investing. To be fair, this can also be said regarding stocks, bonds and other traditional investing tools, though cryptocurrency seems to attract far more criminal behavior.
Prime examples include Quadriga CX, the ill-fated Canadian cryptocurrency exchange. Head executive Gerald Cotten potentially died from complications due to Chron’s Disease while working abroad in India. At the time, he was the only person with access to the exchange’s private keys. Thus, when he passed, nobody could access customers’ funds. Users turned to Cotten’s widow to get their money, and when that scheme failed, they filed a class-action suit.
The circumstances are no doubt sad and disturbing, but news later emerged suggesting that Cotten may have embezzled funds long before he passed, and that customer monies were used for illicit purposes.
This Seems to Happen a Lot
Scott is believed to have created a long string of fake companies during his time with One Coin, along with fake offshore accounts for the purpose of laundering ill-received funds. It is believed Scott may have been engaging in this behavior between the years of 2015 and 2017. Overall, victims of One Coin may have lost as much as $4 billion due to the scam.
Many of the swindled individuals have filed a class-action suit against Scott for his role in defrauding them. He is set to be sentenced in February of 2020.