Dubbed the “Cryptocurrency Queen,” Ruja Ignatova is now part of the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted List. It is suspected of extorting billions of dollars from its victims.
The FBI has just updated its list of the ten most wanted fugitives. among him “the most wanted” Now showing Ruja Ignatova. This was created by the 42-year-old Bulgarian businessman OneCoin, a fake cryptocurrency Sold to hundreds of thousands of investors. The amounts that have evaporated are in the billions of dollars. The FBI promises b $100,000 bonus Anyone able to provide information to locate and arrest Ruja Ignatova.
This FBI post follows a similar announcement from Interpol. Last May, Interpol issued a “Red Notice” She reported that Ruja Ignatova was now wanted by all police services in her network, which connects 195 countries around the world. This “red notice” itself stems from an investigation conducted in Germany regarding the OneCoin case.
The new bitcoin
The noose is tightening around Ruja Ignatova. A doctorate in law from the University of Oxford and a former consultant at McKinsey, the charismatic businessman created OneCoin in 2014. It was then that this new “revolutionary” cryptocurrency would replace Bitcoin. In fact, OneCoin is not a cryptocurrency. It is not listed on any exchange platform. It is not based on blockchain technology, which is the basis of any crypto project. And when investors seek to regain their stake, they systematically hit a wall. And for good reason: their money has been funneled into the pockets of OneCoin’s creators and countless local distributors.
Ruja Ignatova’s stroke of genius was the creation of a Wide network of sellers of this fake financial product. To achieve this, I appealed to the greatest network marketing professionals. This selling technique encourages buyers to become sellers themselves in order to earn commission on selling products. In the case of OneCoin, this sales pattern can be likened to a Ponzi scheme. When buyers wanted to withdraw their money, the hierarchical structure began to collapse.
At the end of 2017, when the first cracks appeared, Ruja Ignatova simply disappeared from circulation. Two hypotheses are being discussed. The first: she was killed. She allegedly got mixed up with organized crime in order to launder the huge sums accumulated through her fraudulent business. Things could have gone wrong, they could have been wiped out.
“Our favorite hypothesis is that Ruja Ignatova is navigating the Mediterranean basin, especially in Bulgaria.”
Second hypothesis: She changed her identity. She was hiding under a false name and was going to change her face thanks to plastic surgery. Journalist Jimmy Bartlett, who has been investigating the OneCoin scam for years for the BBCthis second hypothesis is believed most reasonable. He just published a book on the subject, The Lost Queen of Cryptography (Ed. WH Allen). “Our best guess is that they cruise the Mediterranean basin, particularly in Bulgaria,” explains Jamie Bartlett. A source of Bulgarian descent, who is active in the cryptocurrency community in Brussels, also told us about his belief Ruja Ignatova is currently in Bulgaria.
By tracing the trace of OneCoin’s creator, Jamie Bartlett was able to find it $6.9 million yachtWhich is located in the city of Sozopol, eastern Bulgaria. Also select A house in Dubai where Ruja Ignatova was going to spend part of her tripWith his brother Konstantin Ignatov. The latter, who took over the reins of OneCoin from his sister, is currently imprisoned in the United States, where he is on trial for fraud and money laundering. He pleads guilty and faces several decades in prison. His verdict is expected in August.
The FBI investigation has shed light on the scale of the OneCoin scam. Investigators estimated the amount of money paid by the victims More than $4 billion. This is a low estimate, based on internal OneCoin documents that cover only a portion of the years during which the scam was committed. According to some estimates by Jimmy Bartlett, we’ll be closer to $15 billion.
The Belgian path leads to Laurent Louis
Hundreds of thousands of victims put their money into this fraudulent product. Belgium is no exception to the rule. In our country, the main dealer of OneCoin is Former federal deputy Laurent Lewiswho at that time was elected on the lists of the People’s Party of Michael Modricamine.
After his sole term in the Chamber (2010-2014), Laurent Louis turned to selling shady financial products. Capitalizing on his notoriety as a deputy with conspiratorial and anti-regime rhetoric, he launched in 2016 promoting OneCoin to his community. managed to collect Network of up to 2,500 investors. In the heart of the health crisis, Laurent-Louis continued to promote this fraudulent placement, he revealed The Survey Podcast “OneCoin, the Network” (Trends-Tendances).
The former deputy turned fake cryptocurrency seller nonetheless remains under the influence of a Judicial investigation into the OneCoin file. This was inaugurated at the Charleroi Public Prosecutor’s Office on March 16, 2017. More than five years later, the investigation is still ongoingconfirmed the prosecutor in charge of the case. We still do not know if the file will be closed without further action or if Laurent-Louis and his potential accomplices will one day be referred to the criminal court.
For his part, Laurent Louis no longer publicly promotes financial products on his social networks. But We found its trace on Telegram messages. There is a live group of over 800 members. His bio is interesting: “Laurent Louis. Ex-Vice. Political Analyst. Crypto Coach.”
- OneCoin creator Ruja Ignatova is on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list.
- She is suspected of leading a multi-billion dollar cryptocurrency scam.
- In Belgium, the main distributor of OneCoin, former MP Laurent Louis, has been under an open court investigation for five years.