Onecoin victims’ lawyer, Dr. Jonathan Levy, is urging Bulgarian authorities to reopen an inquiry into the fraudulent $4 billion crypto scheme and recover assets to compensate his clients. The lawyer has asked Sofia officials to consider the latest developments in the case, including a murder that happened recently in South Africa involving a Bulgarian crime figure linked to One Coin’s founder, Ruja Ignatova.
Lawyer calls for further Onecoin investigation
Levy, the U.K. lawyer representing Onecoin victims from several countries, has written a letter to the Bulgarian Ministry of Justice, hoping the recent developments are grounds for reopening the case. These developments include the murder of Krasimir Kamenov, a Bulgarian crime figure, in South Africa. Notably, he had links to Ivan Geshev, the recently fired Bulgarian chief public prosecutor, and Rija Ignatova, the fugitive Onecoin founder.
Levy filed a petition in December 2021 with the Bulgarian Constitutional Ombudsman, accusing Geshev of overlooking Onecoin’s activities such that they continued operating through affiliated entities in the country. Following Geshev’s removal from office in June, he was replaced by Borislav Sarafov as Acting Prosecutor General.
The lawyer is now looking for Onecoin to be shut down, the responsible persons arrested, and the assets they got away with seized for victims’ restitution. According to the Justice Department, the Onecoin victims lost over $4 billion on the platform, which began operating in 2014.
Ignatova still missing
Ignatova, known as “the Cryptoqueen,” has been missing since October 2017. According to a Bulgarian website Bureau for Investigative Reporting and Data (Bird.bg) article, Ignatova was allegedly killed in Greece in November 2018. The report claimed the conclusion was based on evidence from an investigation into a prior murder of the former head of a criminal police department in the Bulgarian capital. The report also mentioned that a crime group murdered the police official and Ignatova.
However, Levy held that the criminal organization might have faked her death, calling for more investigation. The attorney highlighted that Geshev then looked to arrest Kamenov but claimed that he had narrowly escaped a bomb plot. Late May, Kamenov, who was assassinated, had been accused of the murder of the police official in Sofia and the Ignatova disappearance.
In Levy’s letter, he included a request for new material to be reviewed and requests he made earlier to be considered. He specifically urged that more action be taken against the Onecoin crime gang in Bulgaria and Geshev, accusing them of deliberate nonfeasance.
Ignatova entered the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Top Ten Most Wanted list in 2022, with the agency rewarding 100,000 for information leading to her arrest. However, the bounty has increased to $250,000 today, given the magnitude of the $4 billion she got away with through the carefully orchestrated multi-level marketing network based on Onecoin, a cryptocurrency that did not exist.
Justice for Onecoin victims
South Africa’s Daily Maverick newspaper recently reported that Kamenov might have had information on the ‘Cryptoqueen”. The publication also reported that around 2018, Ignatova’s brother and Konstantin, the Onecoin co-founder, had photos on his Instagram showing he had gone to Cape Town. Konstantin was arrested in Los Angeles the next year and charged with Onecoin-related charges. He pleaded guilty while seeking witness protection in the U.S. Sebastian Greenwood, Ignatova’s business partner, was arrested and pled guilty to money laundering and wire fraud charges in December 2022.
Irina Dilkinska, Onecoin’s supposed head of legal and compliance, was extradited to the U.S. in March 2023 for allegedly enabling OneCoin to launder millions of dollars through shell companies. Meanwhile, Frank Schneider, the elusive Ignatova advisor, and former spy, was arrested in May 2021 and placed later under house arrest. However, he managed to vanish from his France residence in April 2023 and is suspected of hiding in Dubai or Luxembourg.