As the search for the self-proclaimed “Cryptoqueen” continues, the FBI on Thursday included Ruja Ignatova on its ten most wanted list. The bureau is also giving $100,000 for any relevant information that will lead to the capture of the founder of the infamous OneCoin scheme.
Ignatova through OneCoin now categorized as a Ponzi scheme defrauded unsuspecting investors over $4 billion. She faces eight-count charges including wire fraud and money laundering.
According to the bureau, Ignatova last appeared in public in October 2017 when she boarded a flight from Bulgaria to Greece. She disappeared shortly after the authorities issued an arrest warrant.
In addition, Ignatova is the 11th woman to appear on the FBI’s ten most wanted list since its inception 72 years ago.
She is aged 42 and known for her extravagant lifestyle. The agency requested persons with knowledge of her whereabouts to reach out to tips.fbi.gov. The investigators also suggest the crypto queen might have surgically changed her appearance from her most recent picture.
Meanwhile, the FBI isn’t the only agency in search of the crypto fraudster. In May, Europol added her to its most-wanted list and offered a €5,000 reward for information.
Recently the crypto fraudster’s exploit and disappearance became the subject of a documentary. Titled “Crypto Queen,” the filmmakers say it will be a tell-all documentary. It will detail how Ignatova fleeced investors off billions through the Ponzi scheme OneCoin.
OneCoin’s executives brought to trial
The authorities have nabbed several members of the OneCoin leadership after charges of fraud in 2019.
The authorities arrested Crypto Queen’s brother Konstantin Ignatov in 2019 for his involvement in the scheme. He could see up to 90 years in jail despite cooperating with the authorities after his arrest.
Similarly, authorities also sentenced David Pike, another key member of the scheme to two years of probation in March 2022. Sebastian Greenwood, another Mastermind of the scheme, still awaits sentencing.
Founded in 2014, OneCoin, touted as the Bitcoin killer, operated a multi-level marketing model to incentivize people to sell educational resources to friends and family. It had over 3 million users across 175 countries.
OneCoin is one of the biggest scams in history with billions of investors’ funds lost.