FBI adds Bulgarian ‘Cryptoqueen’, 42, to its top ten most wanted list after ‘she defrauded investors out of over $4 BILLION through Ponzi scheme OneCoin’
- Dr. Ruja Ignatova, known as the ‘Cryptoqueen,’ was added to the FBI”s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list on Thursday for defrauding investors
- Ignatova allegedly scammed investors around the world to collect $4 billion for her OneCoin cryptocurrency scheme between 2014 and 2018
- Investigators said she was living in luxury before traveling to Sofia, Bulgaria, after an arrest warrant was issued in 2017
- She went missing in Greece that year, and officials believe she is traveling with a fake German passport and may have altered her face through surgery
- Wanted for $10,000, Ignatova is only the 11th woman to have been placed on the FBI’s most wanted list in its 72-year history
The FBI has added Dr. Ruja Ignatova, the ‘Cryptoqueen’ to its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list after she allegedly defrauded investors with her $4 billion cryptocurrency pyramid scheme.
Ignatova, 42, who the Department of Justice said used her OneCoin cryptocurrency as a multi-level marketing scam to target investors worldwide between 2014 and 2018, is now wanted for $100,000.
Investigators believe Ignatova was tipped off in 2017 after a U.S. District Court in New York issued a warrant for her arrest, leading the alleged scammer to travel to Greece and disappear.
Special Agent Ronald Shimko, who is investigating the case out of the FBI’s New York Field Office, said he hopes the publicity of being on the most wanted list will help track down Ignatova.
‘There are so many victims all over the world who were financially devastated by this,’ Shimko said. ‘We want to bring her to justice.’
Dr. Ruja Ignatova, known as the ‘Cryptoqueen,’ was added to the FBI”s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list on Thursday for defrauding investors
Ignatova allegedly scammed investors around the world to collect $4 billion for her OneCoin cryptocurrency, which was a pyramid scheme
THE FBI’S TOP TEN MOST WANTED FUGITIVES
The FBI has maintained a list of its top most wanted fugitives for 72 years.
Along with Ruja Ignatova, the current members of the list include:
ARNOLDO JIMENEZ: Wanted for the alleged brutal 2012 murder of his wife the day after their wedding
ALEXIS FLORES: Wanted for his alleged involvement in the kidnapping and murder of a five-year-old Philadelphia girl in 2000
JOSE RODOLFO VILLARREAL-HERNANDEZ: Wanted for allegedly instructing individuals to track and murder a 43-year0ld man in Southlake, Texas, in 2013
YULAN ADONAY ARCHAGA CARIAS: Wanted for alleged racketeering and drug and weapon charges as the alleged leader of MS-13 for all of Honduras
RAFAEL CARO-QUINTERO: Wanted for the 1985 murder of a federal agent as the godfather of Mexican drug trafficking
EUGENE PALMER: Wanted for the murder of his daughter-in-law in 2012
BHADRESHKUMAR CHETANBHAI PATEL: Wanted for the murder of his wife in 2015
ALEJANDRO ROSALES CASTILLO: Wanted for his alleged involvement of the murder of a coworker in 2016
JASON DEREK BROWN: Wanted for murder and armed robbery in 2014
Dubbed the ‘Cryptoqueen,’ Ignatova, a lawyer, co-founded OneCoin in 2014 as the ‘Bitcoin killer,’ luring investors to purchase packages her cryptocurrency.
Investigators said that a key part of her business model was to push investors into selling additional packages of OneCoin to friends and family, which was essentially a pyramid scheme to pay out those at the top.
‘Ignatova targeted individuals who may not have fully understood the ins and outs of cryptocurrencies but were moved by Ignatova’s impressive resume and the marketing strategies used by OneCoin,’ the FBI said in its statement.
The Bulgarian-born Ignatova is only the 11th woman to have been placed on the FBI’s most wanted list in its 72-year history.
She is also wanted in Germany through an Interpol Red Notice, which warns that she may have surgically changed her appearance in order to avoid capture.
Investigators said she was living in luxury before traveling to Sofia, Bulgaria, after a warrant was issued for her arrest on October 12, 2017.
She was then reported traveling from Sofia to Athens, Greece, on October 25, and has not been seen since.
Authorities believe she could be traveling with a fake German passport to the United Arab Emirates, Bulgaria, Russia, Germany and other parts of Eastern Europe.
At the height of OneCoin’s popularity, Ignatova took the stage at the UK’s Wembley Arena, where she celebrated her success and touted that her cryptocurrency would overtake Bitcoin.
Although she remains on the run, her brother, Konstantin, was arrested in 2019 and plead guilty to multiple felonies for his leadership role in OneCoin.
In 2018, authorities issued a superseding indictment against Ignatov, charging her with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to commit securities fraud, and securities fraud.
Mike Driscoll, the FBI’s assistant director in charge of the New York Office, and Damian Williams, the U.S attorney for the Southern District of New York, said they were confident that Ignatova would be caught.
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Investigators said she was living in luxury before traveling to Sofia, Bulgaria, after an arrest warrant was issued in 2017. Pictured: Ignatova touting her cryptocurrency
Investigators believe she may be travelling through Eastern Europe using a fake German passport and has altered her face through sur
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