OneCoin lawyer found guilty in crypto-scam
A US lawyer has been found guilty for his role in the $5 billion OneCoin cryptocurrency scam and is facing a 50 year jail sentence. The scheme’s mastermind, Dr Ruja Ignatova, is still missing. She is believed to have defrauded million of investors worldwide and has been dubbed the “Cryptoqueen”.
Mr Scott’s lawyers had said he did not know that OneCoin was worthless. They said he was simply doing the job asked by Dr Ruja Ignatova, a co-founder of the Bulgaria-based OneCoin.
Prosecutors said that the former equity partner at prominent international law firm Locke Lord LLP was paid $50 million to route $400 million out of the US. The jury decided that he helped to perpetrate the scheme, which is still operating and headquartered in Sofia, Bulgaria.
In total, investigators believe as much as £4bn was raised globally via what is said to have amounted to a Ponzi scheme, with investors based in Uganda, China and the UK among other countries.
“OneCoin used the success story of Bitcoin to induce victims to invest under the guise that they, too, could get rich through their investments,” New York state attorneys said in one filing.
“This was, of course, completely false because the price of OneCoin was a fiction and not based on supply and demand.”
Mark Scott, OneCoin’s lawyer, was found guilty on Thursday of conspiracy to commit money laundering and bank fraud at the US District Court in Manhattan, following a three week hearingonecoin. He is due to be sentenced on February 21, 2020.