A Jan. 28 New York Post report suggested that the notorious crypto fraudster and the only woman on the FBI 10 most wanted fugitive list, Ruja Ignatova, has been discovered five years after she went off the radar.
According to the report, a luxury property listed for sale has placed the fugitive in the spotlight for the first time since 2017. The property, a penthouse apartment in Kensington, England, was listed for sale for £12.5 million before being downgraded to £11 million.
UK Law Brings Ignatova to Fore
According to the UK’s new Companies House law, beneficiary owners of a property must be named in full instead of just the companies holding the property. The penthouse was previously held under Abbots House Penthouse Limited, a shell company based in Guernsey.
However, with the law requesting names of the beneficiary, Ruja Ignatova’s lawyer listed her as the beneficial property owner in their filing with the UK financial regulators.
This marks the first time since 2017 that there has been any concrete evidence of her being alive. Although she remains at large, the discovery gives investigators new leads to pursue to bring her to justice.
The Cryptoqueen’s Crimes
Ignatova, popularly known as the cryptoqueen, is responsible for one of the most massive crypto scams. She and her partner Sebastian Greenwood defrauded investors of over $4 billion with a supposed crypto token, Onecoin.
The fraudsters claimed the token would be the Bitcoin killer and promised huge investment rewards. But the project was found to be a scam with no evidence of the coin even being on the blockchain.
Ignatova was last seen in 2017 when she took a flight in Sofia, Bulgaria heading for Athena. Authorities have been looking for her since then, with the FBI adding her to its list of most wanted fugitives. The bureau has warned that Ignatova could have had plastic surgery to change her appearance. She is also wanted in Europe.
BeInCrypto has reached out to company or individual involved in the story to get an official statement about the recent developments, but it has yet to hear back.