OneCoin’s Missing ‘Crypto Queen’ Is Now One of Europe’s Most-Wanted Fugitives
Ruja Ignatova at a OneCoin event at Wembley Arena in 2016. Photo: YouTube
A woman who allegedly made billions of pounds by conning hundreds of thousands of people from around the world in a crypto coin scam has been put on Europol’s most-wanted list.
Five years after going on the run, police have appealed for the arrest of Dr Ruja Ignatova, founder of OneCoin, a cryptocurrency that sold itself as an alternative to Bitcoin but was instead a pyramid-style scam which relieved people from 175 countries of at least £4 billion.
The scam, one of the biggest frauds in history, which could have reaped as much as £12.7 billion from investors, was the subject of the BBC’s “The Missing Cryptoqueen” podcast.
Europol, the EU’s law enforcement agency, has put up a €5,000 (around $5,300 or £4,300) reward for information that leads to her arrest. It said Ignatova was “the driving force and intellectual inventor” of OneCoin and “is suspected of having prompted investors worldwide to invest in this worthless currency.”
So far most of Ignatova’s key alleged collaborators have either been arrested or jailed, including OneCoin’s co-founder Karl Sebastian Greenwood, Ignatova’s brother Konstantin, her corporate lawyer Mark Scott and her lover, Gilbert Armenta.
Journalist Jamie Bartlett has been trying to hunt down Ignatova, a 41-year-old from Bulgaria, since making the Missing Cryptoqueen podcast in 2019. She has been stripped of her Bulgarian citizenship but still…