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US Offers $5 Million Reward for Fugitive “Cryptoqueen” Ruja Ignatova

US Offers $5 Million Reward for Fugitive "Cryptoqueen" Ruja Ignatova

The US government has announced a significant reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the capture of Ruja Ignatova, a Bulgarian-born entrepreneur accused of masterminding one of the largest fraud schemes in history. Ignatova, 44, is wanted in the United States and Germany for her alleged involvement in a global virtual currency scam that defrauded over 4 billion dollars from investors worldwide.

Ignatova fled Bulgaria two weeks after her indictment in October 2017, and her current whereabouts remain unknown. Authorities believe she is hiding abroad, possibly using her dual German citizenship to evade capture.

The fraud scheme, known as OneCoin, was designed to lure investors into purchasing virtual currency packages with promises of high returns. However, it was nearly impossible for clients to recover their funds, as the scheme relied on recruiting new investors to generate revenue. The scam affected individuals from countries as far-flung as China, the United States, Europe, and the Middle East.

In related news, Bulgarian authorities plan to press charges against Ignatova in absentia, paving the way for proceedings to seize her

estimated 10 million euros worth of assets.

Ignatova’s brother, Konstantin Ignatov, took over as head of OneCoin after his sister fled and was arrested in Los Angeles in 2019. He later pleaded guilty and served 34 months in prison before being released in March 2024. Another key figure in the scheme, Sebastian Greenwood, was extradited from Thailand and sentenced to 20 years in prison in the United States.

The US ambassador to Bulgaria, Kenneth Merten, emphasized the significance of capturing Ignatova and bringing her to justice. With this substantial reward offer, authorities hope to spark a breakthrough in the investigation and finally apprehend the elusive “Cryptoqueen.”

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