OneCoin scandal sees Konstantin Ignatov released, expresses remorse for $4.4b fraud

Konstantin Ignatov has been released after serving 34 months in prison for his involvement in the OneCoin cryptocurrency scam, a scheme that fraudulently claimed $4.4 billion from investors. 

The release followed a court decision by Judge Edgardo Ramos, who applied a “time served” verdict on March 5. This verdict indicates that Ignatov’s time in custody prior to sentencing was deemed adequate punishment. At the hearing, Ignatov acknowledged his mistakes, expressing deep regret for his actions and the pain caused during this period.

“I can only blame myself […] still have trouble looking into my own eyes in the mirror. The last five years were a very painful period in my life, but I’m glad for the lessons I’ve learned,” he was quoted saying.

After his sister Ruja Ignatova, known as the “Cryptoqueen,” disappeared in 2017, Ignatov rose to prominence within the OneCoin organization. He admitted to money laundering and fraud charges in 2019 and was instrumental in the prosecution of a lawyer involved in laundering $400 million from the scheme by testifying against him.

Ignatov’s willingness to collaborate with U.S. prosecutors played a significant role in mitigating his sentence. During the proceedings, Judge Ramos referred to the OneCoin operation as “a massive fraud with hundreds of thousands of victims,” but acknowledged Ignatov’s assistance in the trial against Scott as a mitigating factor.

Ignatov provided testimony that led to the conviction of Mark Scott, who played a significant role in the OneCoin fraud by laundering funds.  Scott was subsequently sentenced to 10 years in prison in January 2024. The court also mandated that Ignatov, now under two years of court supervision, forfeit $118,000 earned from his tenure at OneCoin.

The fallout from the OneCoin scam has continued for quite some time, with ongoing legal actions against those involved in the scheme. Karl Sebastian Greenwood, a co-founder of OneCoin, has faced significant legal repercussions for his involvement. Greenwood was recently sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role in the fraud and money laundering activities associated with the scam.

Additionally, the case of Irina Dilkinska, former head of OneCoin’s legal department, highlights the extensive network of individuals involved in facilitating the scam. Dilkinska has pleaded guilty to fraud and money laundering charges, admitting to transferring funds to offshore accounts beyond her official duties. She faces a potential 10-year prison sentence, with her sentencing scheduled for Feb. 14.

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