OneCoin’s head of legal and compliance Irina Dilkinska has pleaded guilty this week to wire fraud and money laundering charges in connection to the crypto scam that deceived and resulted in a $4 billion fraud.
The DOJ said that the US District Judge Edgardo Ramos accepted Dilkinska’s guilty plea.
- According to the official press release, the 42-year old Bulgarian citizen pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit laundering. Each charge carries a maximum potential sentence of five years of imprisonment.
- The scam dates back to 2014, when Ruja Ignatova, known as “the Cryptoqueen,” and Karl Sebastian Greenwood co-founded OneCoin, a Bulgarian-based company that promoted a cryptocurrency bearing the same name.
- However, it turned out to be a fraudulent pyramid scheme operating as a multi-level marketing (MLM) network.
- OneCoin attracted over three million investors, generating $4.3 billion in sales revenue and claiming $2.91 billion in profits between Q4 2014 and Q4 2016.
- Dilkinska, purported Head of Legal and Compliance for OneCoin, instead of ensuring legal compliance, actively participated in its operations and facilitated money laundering, including transferring $110 million in fraudulently obtained proceeds to a Cayman Islands entity.
- Greenwood was sentenced to 20 years imprisonment for his involvement in September.
- Meanwhile, Ignatova faced charges related to OneCoin fraud and money laundering in the Southern District of New York in 2017.
- She disappeared after traveling from Sofia to Athens on October 25, 2017, and was added to the FBI’s Top Ten Most Wanted List in June 2022, with a $100,000 reward for information leading to her arrest.
- Ignatova has not been seen publicly since her disappearance, but it was speculated by certain Bulgarian sources that she may have been brutally killed in 2018 at the directive of a local drug lord.