– Ruja Ignatova, mastermind of the notorious pyramid Onecoin, is now one of Europes most wanted fugitives.
– She disappeared almost five years ago, after the Ponzi scheme she led collected billions of dollars from defrauded investors around the world.
– The European Union Agency for Law Enforcement Cooperation, Europol, is now offering a reward of up to 5,000 ($5,200) for any information that could lead to the arrest of Ruja Ignatova.
– The agency also points out that the fraud-related losses to the Ponzi scheme that have been established so far are in the upper double-digit million range, while also acknowledging that the total damage caused on a global scale is likely to amount to several billion U.S. dollars.
– Ignatova has been accused of fraud, including that affecting the financial interests of the European Communities within the meaning of the Convention of 26 July 1995.
– The Crypto Queen has been added to Europes Most Wanted list on the initiative of the German law enforcement authorities.
– According to an announcement published by the police in the western German province of North Rhine-Westphalia, the 5,000 reward has been offered by the public prosecutors office in Bielefeld.
– Onecoin was launched by Bulgarian-born German national Ruja Ignatova in 2014. The projects cryptocurrency was advertised as the Bitcoin killer and promoted through Bulgaria-based offshore entities Onecoin Ltd., registered in Dubai, and the Belize-incorporated Onelife Network Ltd. Both were founded by Ignatova and her partner Sebastian Greenwood, who is now jailed in the U.S.
– Rujas brother, Konstantin Ignatov, who is also a co-founder of Onecoin, was arrested in Los Angeles in 2019 and charged with committing financial crimes. He has since started cooperating with investigators working on the case, testified about Onecoins links to organized crime, pleaded guilty, and sought witness protection.
– In November, a lawyer representing investors urged Bulgaria to act on the case, claiming the scam was still operating from the country.