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$4 Billion Cryptocurrency Scam Lands Man 20 Years in Prison – Hunt Continues for Alleged Accomplice

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Former Partner of Cryptoqueen Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison

Former Partner of Cryptoqueen Sentenced to 20 Years in Prison

Ruta Ignatova, the infamous “Cryptoqueen,” remains a fugitive after getting on a plane and vanishing six years ago. But her former partner is going to prison.

A New York federal judge has sentenced Karl Sebastian Greenwood to 20 years behind bars for his role in a global cryptocurrency scheme that scammed investors out of more than $4 billion. Ignatova boarded a flight in Sofia, Bulgaria, in October 2017 and vanished, leaving Greenwood and her other business partners to take the fall for their failed company. She’s been on the run since and remains the only woman on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted list.

OneCoin: One of the Largest Global Fraud Schemes

  • More than 3 million people invested in the pair’s fraudulent cryptocurrency, OneCoin.
  • OneCoin scammed investors out of more than $4 billion.
  • US Attorney Damian Williams called it one of the largest global fraud schemes ever perpetrated.

Greenwood’s Role in the Scheme

  • Greenwood, 46, is a citizen of Sweden and the United Kingdom.
  • His “mastery as a salesman” helped build OneCoin’s initial success.
  • Greenwood lined his own pockets with over $300 million.

The Rise and Fall of OneCoin

  • Ignatova and Greenwood leveraged Bitcoin’s success to capitalize on the scheme.
  • OneCoin was marketed as a lucrative rival to Bitcoin in the growing cryptocurrency market.
  • Authorities say it was actually a pyramid scheme that defrauded investors globally.

Ignatova and Greenwood’s Knowledge of the Scheme

  • Court documents reveal that Ignatova and Greenwood were aware from the start that their venture was a Ponzi scheme.
  • They referred to OneCoin as a “trashy coin” in emails.
  • Ignatova proposed an exit strategy in case of failure, suggesting they “take the money and run and blame somebody else for this.”

Greenwood’s Arrest and Confiscation of Assets

  • Greenwood was arrested in Thailand and extradited to the US in July 2018, nine months after Ignatova disappeared.
  • He used investor funds to buy luxury items, including homes, a yacht, and designer clothes.
  • Greenwood traveled the world in a private “OneCoin” jet.

Greenwood’s Sentencing and Forfeiture of Funds

  • Greenwood pleaded guilty to wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and conspiracy to launder money.
  • He was sentenced to 20 years in prison and ordered to forfeit about $300 million.
  • US Attorney Damian Williams hopes this sentence deters future fraud in the financial sector.

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