Accomplice of Ruja Ignatova in OneCoin was Sentenced to 20 years in Prison in the US
Sebastian Greenwood, co-founder with Ruja Ignatova of the cryptocurrency scheme OneCoin, has been sentenced to 20 years in prison in the US. According to the court, he entered into a criminal conspiracy with other individuals, including the so-called "Crypto Queen of Bulgaria", who is now on the FBI's most wanted list.
They are accused of stealing more than 4 billion US dollars from investors in a fraud first reported by the weekly publication "Capital". Tuesday's sentencing announcement said Greenwood personally pocketed about 300 million US dollars for his own personal gain and lavish lifestyle around the world. The verdict said he knew they were running a pure scam and now has to return that money to depositors.
Greenwood, 46, a citizen of Great Britain and Sweden, was arrested in Thailand in July 2018. He is among the people who started and ran OneCoin, founded in Bulgaria in 2014, pleading guilty to fraud and money laundering in December, the BBC recalls.
"In reality, unlike legitimate cryptocurrencies, OneCoin had no real value and was designed by Greenwood and Ignatova as a scam from day one," said prosecutors from the US Attorney's Office for the Southern District of New York. Their statement claimed that together they "managed one of the largest fraud schemes ever carried out".
"We hope this sentence of many years in prison will reverberate throughout the financial sector and deter anyone who might be tempted to lie to investors and fraudulently exploit the cryptocurrency ecosystem," said US Attorney Damian Williams.
Tuesday's sentence was handed down by a federal judge in Manhattan. Prosecutors say many OneCoin victims are from the New York area. The scheme entered the US around 2015.
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