OneCoin cofounder Karl Sebastian Greenwood pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering charges, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
A Dec. 16 press statement by the authorities described Greenwood as the operator of the largest international fraud schemes ever perpetrated.
Speaking on the development, U.S. attorney Damian Williams revealed OneCoin was worthless and had no real-world value. Part of the statement reads:
“GREENWOOD and IGNATOVA conceived of and built the OneCoin business fully intending to use it to defraud investors.”
Greenwood’s guilty plea comes amidst his cofounder’s continued disappearance since 2017.
DOJ records disclosed that Greenwood earned around €20 million monthly as the top MLM distributor of OneCoin.
Though a sentence hasn’t yet been delivered, the individual charges have a maximum sentence of 20 years. The sentencing has been scheduled to be delivered on April 5, 2023.
Greenwood was arrested in Thailand in July 2018 and was eventually extradited to the U.S. in October 2018.
OneCoin: The Acclaimed Bitcoin Killer
OneCoin operation began in Bulgaria in 2014 as a multi-level marketing scheme, which allowed users to earn money by recruiting others. However, OneCoin’s failure as a Ponzi scheme started in 2016 when it began having issues paying investors.
According to the DOJ, OneCoin made about €4.04 billion in sales revenue and another €2.74 billion in “earned” profits for investors.
Crypto Queen Remains At Large
Meanwhile, the whereabouts of Ruja ‘CryptoQueen’ Ignatova, the other OneCoin cofounder, are still unknown.
In May, Europol added Ignatova to its most wanted fugitives list with a €5,000 reward for information leading to her arrest. Europol alleges that Ignatova duped investors into investing in a worthless currency.
In June, the U.S. FBI added her to its Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list. The FBI offered a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to her arrest.
However, despite this interest from law enforcement agencies, Ignatova has remained missing since October 2017.
BeInCrypto reported that the criminal mastermind might even have changed gender. According to the report, this might be why it is difficult for the authorities to locate her.