The brother of OneCoin’s missing “CryptoQueen” has pleaded guilty to money laundering and fraud charges, BBC reports.
Konstantin Ignatov admitted to his role in the multi-billion dollar OneCoin scam when he signed a plea deal on October 4. That document has since been obtained by Inner City Press.
Ignatov is yet to be sentenced, but now faces up to 90 years in prison.
OneCoin’s alleged ringleader Dr. Ruja Ignatova is still on the run, while Ignatov is reportedly worried that his recent plea deal may “reveal activities of individuals” who might use violence against him and his family.
As such, BBC reports that he might be assigned a new identity under the US’ witness protection program.
OneCoin scam could be even bigger than BitConnect
Authorities say OneCoin operates as a classic pyramid scheme, built on a multi-level marketing network somewhat akin to the infamous BitConnect fraud.
The firm dupes buyers into purchasing supposedly lucrative investment packages made entirely of a fake cryptocurrency, OneCoin.
In March, Hard Fork reported that the US had laid charges against Ignatov, Ignatova, as well a third accomplice, US lawyer Mark Scott, who’s accused of laundering $400 million for the scam. He’s pleaded not guilty.
According to Ignatov’s testimony featured in Scott’s ongoing trial, Ignatova says critics of OneCoin are “haters,” and that she worried somebody was going to snitch on her to the FBI.
Ignatov reportedly claims to have not spoken to his sister since her disappearance, despite supposedly hiring a private investigator to find her. She’d previously told him that she’d acquired a “big passport,” and requested plane tickets to Austria and Greece.
The firm that oversees OneCoin’s operation, which is headquartered in Bulgaria, still appears to be running, although its press department has not released any information since June.
You can read more about its alleged inner-workings here.
Published November 14, 2019 — 17:42 UTC