The Missing Queen

This past Valentine’s Day, I stumbled to a NPR podcast #972 of her. I grew curious and googled her.

Do you think she and the other Queen, Leona Helmsley (Left; 1920-2007) have much in common, starting from the look …

There are many reports. BBC on 2019.9.26, and the following is from the Next Web on Dec 23, 2019 :

2019’s juiciest crypto drama: The saga of OneCoin’s $4B ‘cryptocurrency’ scam

As far as cryptocurrency scams go, OneCoin is probably the one that rules them all.

US prosecutors have alleged that the Ponzi scheme raked in approximately $4 billion, defrauding investors from all over the globe.

In China alone, law enforcement agents recovered 1.7 billion yuan (US$267.5 million) and prosecuted 98 people.

Dr Ruja Ignatova, the scam’s spearhead, has been missing since 2017.

Sebastian Greenwood, her co-founder, was extradited from Thailand to the US following an operation involving the FBI in November 2018.

Hardly a week goes by without a new piece of information emerging about this wide-reaching scam, so here’s everything you need to know.

What is it

OneCoin was launched by Ignatova, a Bulgarian national, and according to her LinkedIn profile, a law graduate and former Mckinsey employee.

It claimed to work like any other cryptocurrency whose coins are generated through mining and can then be used to make global payments.

The coin also came with a cryptocurrency wallet and it’s estimated that a total of 120 billion coins would be available on the OneCoin network.

Organizers sold educational materials, including promotional and discounted packages, to network participants.

Educational courses included cryptocurrencies, trading, investments, financial analysis, and asset management.

Users were expected to pay for these programs. In true multi-level-marketing style, participants were also enticed with referral rewards to urge more users to join.

Several reports also suggest OneCoin was a Ponzi scheme and it’s facing legal action in several nations around the globe.

How it claimed to work

Coins were obtained through mining, and OneCoin operated as a centralized network, where organizers allegedly “took care of all technical aspects.”

An explainer video uploaded to its YouTube channel, claims it was a safe “platform for innovation that will change the financial system.”

It was also claimed that the cryptocurrency adhered to Know-Your-Customer (KYC) rules to prevent money laundering.

Additionally, the video alleges OneCoin was “the first cryptocurrency with a monthly audit of its blockchain.”

No coins, no blockchains, nada

In reality, though, Police eventually revealed OneCoin Ltd was actually a “multi-level marketing network.”

As previously reported by Hard Fork, OneCoins weren’t actually mined using computer resources. Their worth was actually stipulated by the fraudsters, who “programmed” the coin to increase from €0.50 ($0.56) to approximately €29.95 ($33.68).

We now know that investigators also refuted claims that OneCoin maintained a private blockchain — in fact, police found that it lacked “a true blockchain, that is, public and verifiable.”

City of London Police Fraud
The City of London Police share the same belief as foreign law enforcement partners as to the legitimacy of #OneCoin.

If you believe you may have been victim of fraud in relation to #OneCoin, or suspect someone of marketing it, please come forward and report to @actionfrauduk.

As of March 2015, the fraudsters had been allocating “coins” to members that didn’t actually exist. Authorities say the founders referred to these as “fake coins.”

Some of the websites associated with “cryptocurrency” scam OneCoin were taken offline in December 2019.

Who’s Dr Ruja Ignatova

Ignatova told people she had created a cryptocurrency to rival Bitcoin, persuading them to invest billions.

In June 2016, Dr Ruja Ignatova appeared on stage at in London, England wearing a seemingly expensive ballgown, and long earrings.

At the flashy (read tacky) OneCoin event, Ruja told her adoring fans that OneCoin was the “Bitcoin killer.”

“In two years, nobody will speak about Bitcoin any more!” she added.

“OneCoin is easy to use, OneCoin is for everyone […] since we mined our first coin in January 2015, our growth exploded,” Ignatova continued.

Even though OneCoin was alleged to be growing rapidly, and the team intently portrayed an image of success, investors were becoming increasingly concerned.

A long-promised exchange, which would allow users to trade OneCoin into fiat, was constantly delayed. Organizers were due to abate concerns at an event in Lisbon, but Ignatova never showed up.

According to FBI records, Ignatova is thought to have boarded a Ryanair flight from Sofia to Athens on October 25, 2016. She’s been incommunicative since.

She is charged with securities fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering.

The brother who admitted guilt

Ignatova is still on the run, but her brother pleaded guilty to money laundering and fraud charges and is now facing a maximum of 90 years behind bars.

Konstantin Ignatov, who was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport in March, signed a plea deal on October 4, admitting to his role in the multi-billion dollar cryptocurrency scam.

However, he’s reportedly worried that his admission of guilt would invariably reveal the identification of individuals involved who may seek vengeance against him or his family. For this reason, he may be given a new identity under the US witness protection program.

Ignatov maintains he’s not spoken to his sister since she disappeared and claims to have had hired a private investigator to find her. They have so far been unsuccessful.

The lawyer who laundered millions

Mark Scott, a former US lawyer, has been making headlines ever since the US laid charges against him, Ignatova, and Ignatov in early March.

Scott, who allegedly made $50 million from re-routing $400 million from the scam, was found guilty of money laundering and fraud and is now facing a possible 50-year prison sentence.

His lawyers maintain that he was unaware that OneCoin’s cryptocurrency was worthless, and claim he was simply following Ignatova’s orders. These claims were rejected by a federal jury in Manhattan, following a three-week trial.

Formerly a partner at legal firm Locke Lord, Scott is believed to have registered a raft of fake companies, offshore accounts, and fraudulent vehicles to launder funds between the end of 2015 and mid-2017.

During court proceedings, Scott claimed that Neil Bush, the brother of former US president George W. Bush was paid $300,000 to meet with Ignatova to discuss a $60 million loan to purchase an African oil field using OneCoin cryptocurrency.

Scott is due to be sentenced on February 21, 2020, and is also involved in a separate suit after investors in the US — affected by the scam — decided to sue him for recompense.

It’s not over

Although law enforcement has made progress in terms of arresting and convicting some of those involved, there’s plenty left to be done — and while Ignatova is still roaming free, victims are undoubtedly mourning their losses.

I for one think the OneCoin cryptocurrency scam will be one to watch for years to come and should serve as a stark reminder to think before parting with your hard-earned cash.

If this has taught us anything is that when things sound too good to be true, they likely are.


2019年最有趣的加密戏剧: OneCoin的40亿美元 ‘加密货币’ 骗局的传奇

就加密货币骗局而言,一币 (OneCoin) 可能是支配一切的骗局。
美国检察官指控庞氏骗局筹集了大约40亿美元,欺骗了全球各地的投资者。
仅在中国,执法人员就追回了17亿元人民币(2.675亿美元),并起诉了98人。
自2017年以来,该骗局的先驱Ruja Ignatova博士失踪了。
她的联合创始人塞巴斯蒂安·格林伍德(Sebastian Greenwood)在2018年11月参与联邦调查局的行动后从泰国被引渡到美国。
关于这一范围广泛的骗局,几乎没有一周的时间会出现新的信息,因此这里是您需要了解的所有信息。

它是什么

一币 由保加利亚国民伊格纳托娃(Ignatova)发起,根据她在LinkedIn上的个人资料,她是法学毕业生,麦肯锡前雇员。
它声称可以像其他任何加密货币一样工作,其硬币是通过挖掘产生的,然后可以用来进行全球支付。
该代币还带有一个加密货币钱包,据估计,一币 网络上将总共提供1200亿个代币。
组织者向网络参与者出售了包括促销和折扣包装在内的教育材料。
教育课程包括加密货币,交易,投资,财务分析和资产管理。
用户应该为这些程序付费。在真正的多层次营销风格中,参与者还获得了推荐奖励,以吸引更多的用户加入。
几份报告还表明,一币是庞氏骗局,在全球多个国家/地区都面临法律诉讼。

它声称如何工作

硬币是通过采矿获得的,而一币则是一个集中式网络,组织者据称在其中“照顾了所有技术方面”。
一个上传到其油管频道的解释器视频声称,这是一个安全的“创新平台,它将改变金融体系。”
还声称该加密货币遵守了解您的客户(KYC)规则以防止洗钱。
此外,视频还声称一币是“第一个每月对其区块链进行审计的加密货币。”

没有硬币,没有区块链,什么都没有

但实际上,警方最终发现OneCoin Ltd实际上是一个“多层次营销网络”。
据Hard Fork先前报道,OneCoins实际上并未使用计算机资源进行开采。他们的身价实际上是由欺诈者规定的,他们将硬币“编程”为从0.50欧元(0.56美元)增加到约29.95欧元(33.68美元)。

我们现在知道,调查人员还驳斥了OneCoin维护私有区块链的说法-实际上,警方发现它缺乏“一个真正的,公开且可验证的区块链”。

伦敦金融城警察欺诈

@CityPoliceFraud
伦敦金融城与#OneCoin的合法性与外国执法伙伴有着相同的信念。
如果您认为自己可能是#OneCoin欺诈的受害者,或怀疑有人在营销该欺诈,请挺身而出并向@actionfrauduk报告。

截至2015年3月,欺诈者一直在向实际上并不存在的成员分配“硬币”。当局说,创始人称这些为“假硬币”。
与“ cryptocurrency”骗局一币相关的一些网站于2019年12月下线。

谁是Ruja Ignatova博士

伊格纳托娃(Ignatova)告诉人们,她创造了一种可与比特币匹敌的加密货币,并说服他们投资数十亿美元。
2016年6月,鲁雅·伊格纳托娃(Ruja Ignatova)博士穿着看似昂贵的晚礼服和长耳环在英国伦敦的舞台上露面。
在华丽的(俗气的)一币活动中,Ruja告诉她的粉丝,一币是“比特币杀手”。
“两年之内,没人会再谈论比特币了!”她补充说。
Ignatova继续说道:“自2015年1月开采第一枚代币以来,一币易于使用,每个人都可以使用[…],我们的增长迅猛发展。”
尽管据称一币迅速发展,并且团队专心描绘了成功的形象,但投资者越来越感到担忧。
长期以来一直允许用户进行一币交易的交易所一直被推迟。组织者由于在里斯本举行的活动中的担忧而减弱,但伊格纳托娃从未露面。
根据联邦调查局(FBI)的记录,人们认为伊格纳托娃(Ignatova)于2016年10月25日登上了从索非亚(Sofia)到雅典(Athens)的瑞安航空(Ryanair)航班。此后她一直没有再沟通。
她被控进行证券欺诈,电汇欺诈和洗钱。

承认有罪的兄弟

伊格纳托娃(Ignatova)仍在逃亡中,但她的兄弟对洗钱和欺诈指控表示认罪,目前面临最长90年的监禁。
康斯坦丁·伊格纳托夫(Konstantin Ignatov)于3月在洛杉矶国际机场被捕,他于10月4日签署了认罪协议,承认他在价值数十亿美元的加密货币骗局中的作用。
但是,据报道,他担心自己的有罪认罪总是会透露出所涉人员的身份,他们可能会向他或他的家人报仇。因此,根据美国证人保护计划,他可能会获得新的身份。
伊格纳托夫(Ignatov)坚持说,自从姐妹失踪以来,他没有与他通话,并声称自己已经雇了一名私人调查员找到她。到目前为止,它们都没有成功。

洗钱百万的律师

自三月初美国对他,伊格纳托娃和伊格纳托夫提出指控以来,前美国律师马克·斯科特一直在头条新闻。
斯科特据称从骗局中重新路由了4亿美元,从而赚了5,000万美元。他被判洗钱和欺诈罪名成立,目前面临50年的监禁。
他的律师坚称,他没有意识到一币的加密货币一文不值,并声称他只是在遵循Ignatova的命令。经过三周的审判,这些指控被曼哈顿的联邦陪审团驳回。
据信,斯科特曾是洛克律师事务所(Locke Lord)的合伙人,据信在2015年底至2017年中之间注册了许多假公司,离岸账户和欺诈手段来洗钱。
在法庭诉讼程序中,斯科特声称美国前总统乔治·W·布什的弟弟尼尔·布什获得了30万美元的报酬,与伊格纳托娃会面,讨论一笔6000万美元的贷款,以使用一币加密货币购买非洲油田。
斯科特定于2020年2月21日被判刑,并且在美国投资者(受骗局影响)决定起诉他以赔偿后,他还参与了另一起诉讼。

还没完

尽管在逮捕和定罪其中的一些方面,执法工作已取得进展,但仍有许多工作要做-尽管伊格纳托娃仍在自由漫游,但受害者无疑在哀悼他们的损失。
我一开始认为,一币加密货币骗局将是未来几年值得关注的骗局,它应该成为提醒,在与您来之不易的现金分手之前要进行思考。

如果这告诉了我们什么,那就是当事情听起来太好以至于无法实现时,它们可能就是事实。

About The Kibbitzer

bio info .... mmmm ... still working on it ... will add soon ...
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