“She knew.” New details on the “Queen of Cryptocurrencies,” who have been missing for years

“In two years, no one will be talking about bitcoin anymore,” said Roja Ignatova, who described herself as the “queen of cryptocurrencies in 2016, before disappearing completely from view in October 2017, after raising nearly $4 billion in collected cash.” OneCoin.

Since her disappearance, the US Federal Bureau of Investigation has added Ignatova, 42, a German-Bulgarian, to the list of the world’s 10 most wanted people for fraud, becoming the only woman currently on the list, and she is also one of the most sought after in Europe.

The FBI has offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to Ignatova’s arrest

In a statement issued last month, New York’s chief attorney general, Damien Williams, said that “Ignatova and her associates deceived unsuspecting victims of their promise of profits, and that OneCoin is the ‘Bitcoin killer’ would be.”

“In fact, OneCoin was completely worthless, and they made up lies to get people all over the world to part with their hard-earned money,” he added.

Court documents say Ignatova knew from the start it was a “hoax,” documented in emails with her partner, Carl Sebastian Greenwood.

In a letter dating back to 2014, Ignatova admitted that this coin was not “a clean act or even something to be proud of”.

Her co-founder of this currency, Carl Sebastian Greenwood, described the clients as “stupid” and “crazy” in an email to Ignatova’s brother who took part in the scam, revealing that they knew about the matter, and described their currency as “trivial”.

From the messages, it appeared that Ignatova and her partners had no other purpose than to raise money, and she even suggested an escape strategy in case the company failed, in an email to Greenwood, and someone else blame.

A CNN report, on Sunday, shed light on the life of Ignatova, who from a young age wanted to turn her humble life into outrageous quick riches.

Ignatova was born in Bulgaria, where her father was an engineer and her mother a teacher, then the family moved to Germany to emerge as an outstanding student who spent her free time studying and playing chess , before she obtained a scholarship to a university in Constance. Germany, where she met and married her law colleague, according to Jimmy Bartlett, who published a book about her last year called The Lost Queen of Cryptography.

Bartlett says: “Ignatova confirmed that she did not want children because they would stand in her way of obtaining wealth, and she also told others that she wanted to be a millionaire by the age of thirty.”

“She wanted to be rich so much that she devoured books on how to make money,” Bartlett wrote.

After studying European law at the University of Oxford, she got a job as a consultant at the international consulting firm McKinsey.

Ignatova connected with many clients, aided by her fluency in several languages, including Russian, German, English and Bulgarian.

Appearance was important to Ignatova, who often attended events in evening dresses and bright lipstick, with diamonds dangling from her ears.

In 2014, Ignatova and Greenwood began promoting OneCoin to investors in Europe, New York and around the world, hosting webinars and conferences, encouraging potential investors to deposit money into an account that would allow the purchase of the virtual enable currency.

The company promised investors a return of five to ten times that of other cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

In order to inject more money and buy the currency, the company worked on a multi-level hierarchical marketing network, in which investors receive commissions for recruiting others to buy cryptocurrency packages, from “newbies” to “active traders” .

From the end of 2014 to the end of 2016, customers spent more than $4 billion to buy the “currency,” federal prosecutors said, noting that $50 million was from investors in the United States, according to court documents.

While Bitcoin was mined by computers, Ignatova “didn’t mine,” she told Greenwood in an August 2014 email. OneCoin was not “based on supply and demand like other cryptocurrencies,” but it was manipulated by the company itself,” according to federal prosecutors.

The company began collapsing in 2016, when investors struggled to sell their One Coins to recoup their original investment, raising suspicions that the entire process was a “fraud”, then the media questions began to be asked, and investigations began. countries.

It is not clear what happened to Ignatova’s marriage, but the FBI stated that Ignatova learned that her American boyfriend was cooperating with the FBI on OneCoin, and she fled the United States.

In October 2017, the US Department of Justice indicted Ignatova on charges of conspiracy to launder money and securities fraud, charges that carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

At the end of October of the same year, Ignatova’s last known trip was from Bulgaria, to Greece, and then she disappeared, leaving her business partners.

The FBI believes Ignatova may have traveled on a German passport from Athens, the United Arab Emirates, Germany, Russia or Eastern Europe or even returned to Bulgaria, and is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to her capture.

At the bottom of the reward ad, the FBI says, “Ignatova is believed to be traveling with armed guards or accomplices. She may have undergone plastic surgery or otherwise altered her appearance.”

Her accomplices were not so lucky, as Greenwood was arrested at his home in Thailand in July 2018 and extradited to the United States. He pleaded guilty in December to charges of fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud and conspiracy to launder money.

Greenwood is currently in prison and faces up to 20 years in prison for each of the three charges.

As for her brother Constantine, the US authorities arrested him at Los Angeles International Airport in March 2019.

Bartlett said Konstantin had traveled to the US on business and was boarding his flight back to Bulgaria when five men handcuffed him and took him into the interrogation room, where they peppered him with questions about his missing sister.

Her brother pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud and money laundering. He is scheduled to be sentenced next month, according to “CNN”.

Leave a Comment