Co-Founder Of Multibillion-Dollar Cryptocurrency Scheme “OneCoin” Sentenced To 20 Years In Prison

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OneCoin Was a Fraudulent Cryptocurrency Marketed and Sold to Millions of Victims Around the World, Resulting in Billions of Dollars in Losses

Damian Williams, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced today that KARL SEBASTIAN GREENWOOD, who co-founded OneCoin with RUJA IGNATOVA, a/k/a “the Cryptoqueen,” was sentenced to 20 years in prison for his orchestration of the massive OneCoin fraud scheme.  OneCoin, which began operations in 2014 and was based in Sofia, Bulgaria, marketed and sold a fraudulent cryptocurrency by the same name through a global multi-level-marketing (“MLM”) network.  As a result of misrepresentations that GREENWOOD, IGNATOVA, and others made about OneCoin, millions of victims invested over $4 billion worldwide in the fraudulent cryptocurrency.  Today’s sentence was imposed by U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos.  IGNATOVA, who was added to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (“FBI”) Top Ten Most Wanted List in June 2022, remains at large.

According to public court filings and statements made in Court:

GREENWOOD and IGNATOVA co-founded OneCoin Ltd. (“OneCoin”) in 2014.  OneCoin was based in Sofia, Bulgaria.  OneCoin marketed and sold a fraudulent cryptocurrency by the same name.  OneCoin began operating in the United States in or around 2015.  Between the fourth quarter of 2014 and the fourth quarter of 2016 alone, the scheme took in more than $4 billion from at least 3.5 million victims.

OneCoin marketed its fake cryptocurrency through a global MLM network of OneCoin members.  GREENWOOD conceived of OneCoin’s use of an MLM structure and was OneCoin’s global master distributor and the leader of the MLM network through which the fraudulent cryptocurrency was marketed and sold.  Through the MLM structure, OneCoin members received commissions for recruiting others to purchase cryptocurrency packages.  As the top MLM distributor of OneCoin, GREENWOOD earned 5% of monthly OneCoin sales from anywhere in the world, which totaled more than $200 million from the fourth quarter of 2014 through the fourth quarter of 2016 alone and exceeded approximately $300 million in total.  GREENWOOD’s mastery as a salesman and the use of the MLM structure helped contribute to OneCoin’s rapid growth and incredible success.

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