US offers $5 million reward for elusive OneCoin ‘Cryptoqueen’ Ignatova  

IgnatovaRuja Ignatova

In this post:

  • The U.S. offered a reward of $5 million for information leading to the arrest of Ruja Ignatova.
  • She is wanted for several offenses including wire fraud and securities fraud.
  • The Cryptoqueen disappeared in 2017.

The U.S. Department of State has offered a reward of up to $5 million for information leading to the arrest or conviction of OneCoin’s fugitive CEO Ruja Ignatova. The 44-year-old, also known as Cryptoqueen, is wanted for several offenses including wire fraud and securities fraud, it said.

Also read: OneCoin’s fugitive ‘Cryptoqueen’ may have been murdered by her security

Ignatova attracted millions of unsuspecting investors by marketing OneCoin as a Bitcoin alternative that would reward early movers. The Oxford graduate was selling a Ponzi scheme that did not use a digital public ledger like legitimate cryptocurrencies.

Three years after the 2014 launch of OneCoin, the Cryptoqueen escaped from Sofia to Athens as U.S. and German agencies moved to bust her pyramid. She has been off the radar since. The FBI alleges that Ignatova defrauded people who took part in OneCoin of more than $4 billion.

Ignatova ran ‘the largest fraud scheme in history’

According to the State Department, Ruja Ignatova was indicted on Oct. 12, 2017, in the U.S. District Court in the Southern District of New York. She was charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering, all in connection to OneCoin.

Two weeks later, on October 25, the Cryptoqueen traveled from Bulgaria to Greece, apparently, “to evade arrest” and has been a fugitive ever since, said the FBI. In February 2018, Ignatova was slapped with the additional charge of conspiracy to commit securities fraud and securities fraud.


“Ignatova is wanted in the U.S for her participation in one of the largest global fraud schemes in history,” the State Department said in a statement. “[She] promoted OneCoin as a digital currency investment through false statements and representations to attract investors, and … defrauded victims of over $4 billion.”

Also read: Lawyer arrested for laundering OneCoin funds denied new trial

Some of the Cryptoqueen’s accomplices have been convicted in the U.S. Co-founder Karl Greenwood is serving a 20-year jail term for fraud, and two lawyers with links to OneCoin were sentenced to four years in prison. The whereabouts of Ignatova, the only woman on the FBI’s list of 10 most wanted fugitives, remain a mystery.

A recent BBC investigation said Ignatova may have been murdered at the orders of a dangerous drug lord she hired to protect her. In 2022 TradingPedia speculated that she had undergone a sex change to stay off the radar. Another angle suggests that Cryptoqueen is living in Dubai.

Cryptopolitan Reporting by Jeffrey Gogo

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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