The FBI announced that they added ‘Cryptoqueen’ Ruja Ignatova to their Most Wanted List for her multi-billion scam in the crypto space.
Self-proclaimed ‘Cryptoqueen’ Ignatova is one of only 11 women who have been on the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted Fugitives List in its entire existence.
Notable as that is, why was she added?
This is what Ignatova did to make the notorious list — and how she got her colorful nickname.
The scam behind the new FBI Most Wanted fugitive: ‘Cryptoqueen’ never had any crypto
In spite of the moniker, Ruja Ingnatov never handled any cryptocurrency, but people believed she did.
In 2014, she led the foundation of OneCoin in Bulgaria along with several partners. OneCoin was falsely touted as a new cryptocurrency. Furthermore, it operated under a multi-level marketing business model.
As a result, those already deceived by the company had recruited family and friends who also lost money.
“OneCoin claimed to have a private blockchain. This is in contrast to other virtual currencies, which have a decentralized and public blockchain. In this case, investors were just asked to trust OneCoin.” said Special Agent Ronald Shimko.— Special Agent Ronald Shimko / FBI Press Release
Shimko is investigating the scam case out of the FBI’s New York Field Office. He is the same special agent who released the statement putting the ‘Cryptoqueen’ on the FBI Ten Most Wanted Fugitives List.
In short, OneCoin never existed.
According to the FBI, there are victims all over the world totaling billions of dollars. However, the Bureau hasn’t publicly released any official numbers.
Where in the world is Ruja Ignatova?
On October 12, 2017, a federal warrant was issued for Ignatova’s leadership of the global fraud scheme. However, she was believed to have been tipped off and she fled to Greece.
Ruja Ignatova hasn’t been seen since.
Despite this, in 2018, a federal indictment was issued against her with one count of fraud for every victim of OneCoin.
Ultimately, the FBI hopes the addition of the ‘Cryptoqueen’ to the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitive List will bring attention to the case and find Ignatova.
There is a $100,000 reward for information leading to her arrest.
If you have any information about the whereabouts of Ruja Ignatova, contact your local FBI field office or US Embassy.