Following his arrest by authorities at LAX airport, Konstantin Ignatov, leader of the OneCoin ponzi scam, now faces charges. His sister, Ruja, who founded OneCoin, also faces multiple charges of fraud and money laundering — although currently remains at large.
OneCoin To Rule Them All
Ruja Ignatova created OneCoin in Bulgaria in 2014 and it generated $3.8 billion in revenue by Q3 2016, according to prosecutors. The OneCoin ‘tokens’ rose in alleged value from 50 euro cents to nearly €30 — despite the fact that the ‘digital currency’ had no blockchain, no utility, and no way of monitoring it.
In classic Ponzi style, it relied on a constant flow of money from new investors — which existing members received commissions for recruiting. The cryptocurrency media quickly called out OneCoin as an MLM pyramid scheme, and authorities followed suit in an increasing number of countries.
However, the project soldiered on, even going so far as to announce an initial public offering (IPO) in early 2017. Before this could…