OneCoin’s legal chief pleaded guilty to money laundering and wire fraud charges, according to a statement released today from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
Bulgarian national Irina Dilkinska, 42, faces up to 10 years in prison for her role in OneCoin’s notorious crypto fraud scheme. In a Manhattan federal court, Dilkinska confessed to aiding in the laundering of $110 million in illicit profits generated through OneCoin, as well as assisting in the running of day-to-day operations at the fraudulent firm. Her sentencing hearing has been scheduled for February 14 next year.
“As OneCoin’s so-called ‘Head of Legal and Compliance’ Irina Dilkinska accomplished the exact opposite goal of her position,” said U.S. Attorney Damian Williams. “As she has now admitted, Dilkinska facilitated the laundering of millions of dollars of illicit profits OneCoin accrued through its multi-level-marketing scheme.”
OneCoin was a fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme conducted by Bulgaria-based company OneCoin Ltd and Belize-based OneLife Network Ltd, founded by Ruja Ignatova and Karl Sebastian Greenwood. OneCoin covertly engaged in a database entry scam that mimicked transactions absent from a genuine blockchain, and there was no mining activity supporting the purported release and circulation of the cryptocurrency.
Between late 2014 and late 2016, OneCoin generated over $4 billion in sales revenue from approximately 3 million investors globally.
Ignatova, also known as “The Cryptoqueen,” has been on the run from various international law enforcement agencies since 2017. However, earlier this year, Bulgarian authorities claimed that OneCoin founder Ignatova was murdered in 2018. This information was based on documents obtained by a Bulgarian police officer, who had subsequently been murdered, as reported by a local news outlet.
OneCoin’s other founder, Karl Sebastian Greenwood, received a 20-year prison sentence in September. Prosecutors alleged that he defrauded 3.5 million investors and misappropriated funds for luxurious expenses, including five-star resorts, a private plane, and a yacht. Greenwood had previously pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud and money laundering.
Prosecutors appealed on Thursday for individuals to provide information regarding Ignatova’s location. The FBI is offering a reward of up to $250,000 for any information that leads to her apprehension.