With the ever-rising presence of fraud saturating the crypto space, one more instance shouldn’t come as a major surprise.
One Coin is Heading to Court
This time, the company in trouble is One Coin, which is being sued for allegedly running a “multi-billion-dollar international pyramid scheme.” While the lawsuit is only covering the losses of one investor named Christine Grablis, this individual says she’s looking to potentially represent the losses of several other investors and hopefully get them involved.
Grablis says she’s lost more than $130,000 through the company’s fraudulent dealings. She is currently seeking unspecified damages and is asking that her case be bumped up to “class-action” status.
The person behind One Coin – Konstantin Ignatov – was charged two months ago in the state of New York with “conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with the scheme.” Her sister Ruja was also charged with wire fraud, money laundering and securities fraud, but hasn’t been arrested as of late. Ruja is the company’s original founder and leader. Both women, along with two other unidentified male figures involved with One Coin have been named as defendants in the upcoming case.
While we’d all like to pretend that the crypto space is perfect and wrought with benefits, this wouldn’t be quite true. The fact is that problems such as fraud, hackings, cyberattacks and other malicious activity continue to plague the space like one wouldn’t believe. Recently, cybersecurity firm Cipher Trace released a new report suggesting that more than $1.2 billion in cryptocurrency funds have been lost to either hacks or fraud in the first three months of 2019. This is nearly the $1.8 figure accumulated for all of 2018 and suggests that malicious activity in the crypto world is reaching an all-time high.
In addition, initial coin offerings (ICOs) are no longer popular methods of fundraising given the bad reputation they now have. ICOs were once very prominent ways of garnering capital for new businesses and startups. The process worked when a company asked for funding from private investors. These investors would put their money into the company and receive special tokens as a thank you. These tokens would then give them access to the startup’s goods and services.
Some Companies Don’t Play By the Rules
While the process may have worked on paper, several companies had different ideas. Many either closed after six months when they didn’t receive the capital they needed, or were fraudulent from the beginning, and simply used their respective ICOs to steal money from unknowledgeable investors. Either way, both scenarios led these companies into stronger financial statuses, while the respective investors were left with lighter pockets, bruised egos and coins that were virtually useless.
According to U.S. prosecutors, One Coin rose to approximately 29.95 euros from 50-euro cents in January but couldn’t be used to purchase anything. The case is currently being handled in a southern district court in Manhattan.