HomeCrimeFBI Hikes Bounty for Infamous ‘CryptoQueen’ to $5 Million

FBI Hikes Bounty for Infamous ‘CryptoQueen’ to $5 Million


Ruja Ignota, a Bulgarian national better known as CryptoQueen and founder of the $4 billion OneCoin scam, is still on the run. While there are doubts about whether she is alive or not, the FBI has raised the stakes to $5 million for anyone providing information about her location that can lead to her arrest.

A US District Court charged her in absentia on 12 October 2017 for masterminding the OneCoin Ponzi scheme. “On October 12, 2017, Ignatova was charged in the United States District Court, Southern District of New York, and a federal warrant was issued for her arrest. On February 6, 2018, a superseding indictment was issued charging Ignatova with one count each of Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud; Wire Fraud; Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering; Conspiracy to Commit Securities Fraud; and Securities Fraud.”

As part of the scheme, OneCoin collected funds from unsuspecting investors, offering massive returns alongside other products like ‘educational packages.’ In reality, it was a pyramid scheme, asking existing investors to recruit newer ones and funneling investments from older investors to newcomers. The OneCoin cryptocurrency was not even a decentralized asset—the company did not rely on any blockchain network as it claimed to have done.

Soon after being found guilty in the US, she traveled to Athens, Greece, from Bulgaria on 25 October 2017 and went missing. Ruja fled because of the extradition risks if caught in Bulgaria. Authorities think she has altered her appearance through plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures to evade attention. She also held a German passport, which she may have used to flee from Greece.

Due to her not getting caught yet, Bulgaria has decided to charge her in absentia. In a joint statement, Borislav Sarafov, Bulgaria’s Acting Prosecutor General, and Kenneth Merten, US Ambassador to Bulgaria, made the announcement.

OneCoin’s co-founder and legal head, alongside Ruja’s boyfriend and brother, were all previously arrested and sentenced for their involvement in OneCoin’s operations.

Image by TAI-Design from Pixabay


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