This week’s top news item is information on the famed “Missing Cryptoqueen.” The FBI’s top 10 most wanted list has been updated to include the Cryptoqueen, who has been on the run since 2017. It’s the first time a cryptocurrency con artist has succeeded in making it into such an infamous list. But who is Ruja Ignatova, the Cryptoqueen? And why has she been evading capture for over five years now? And why is the U.S. government so desperate to have her in prison right now?
It seems that after pursuing Ignatova for five years, the U.S. is dramatically stepping up its attempts to do so. The FBI made a $100,000 reward offer to anybody with information on her whereabouts yesterday. The corpse hints that Ignatova could be accompanied by armed security. Additionally, it raises the possibility that she had plastic surgery to conceal her identity. Ignatova was added to the FBI’s list of the top 10 most wanted fugitives today as part of its ongoing investigation to find her.
These efforts to find and detain Ignatova are in response to various accusations made against her in 2019 — two years after she vanished. Ignatova was accused in absentia by the Southern District of New York’s U.S. District Court with eight counts of wire fraud and securities fraud. Ignatova has developed a cult following over the period she has spent evading authorities. Her atrocities were detailed in the book and podcast by the same name from the BBC.
However, crypto crime is not very uncommon. A lot of frauds and hacks happen every week. Why is Ignatova in such demand? Here is all the information you need to know about OneCoin, the con by Cryptoqueen.
Ruja Ignatova, the Cryptoqueen, who?
In 2014, Ruja Ignatova initially gained attention when she asserted to have designed a cryptocurrency that could compete with Bitcoin (BTC-USD). The concept, known as OneCoin, quickly became successful. The project received considerably over $500 million between January and June of 2016. These investments were mostly made in China. Of course, it’s important to note that the Chinese government has severely restricted cryptocurrency trade in the nation throughout the intervening years.
OneCoin was one of the most publicized enterprises in the world at this moment. Ignatova grabbed the stage at Wembley Arena in the UK to continue its enormous economic downturn by pitching investors on the project. The incident is maybe the most significant turning point in the project’s history. OneCoin will be the digital money used to make payments everywhere, for everything, Ignatova assured investors.
Investors nowadays are aware that these grand statements are often simply empty rhetoric. However, the value of Bitcoin in 2016 was just a few hundred dollars. Compared to today, the general people didn’t have nearly as much market understanding. Nevertheless, several governmental organizations have issued advisories about the project.
The project abruptly shut down in January 2017 after collecting funds from investors for six further months via comparable stadium pitches. OneCoin has been a Ponzi scam the whole time. The project’s “developers” made false claims concerning investment returns. In the beginning, they didn’t even have a true blockchain database. In the end, Ignatova vanished in October 2017 and took $4 billion in stolen assets with her.
Since that time, no police agencies have been successful in finding Ignatova. In 2019, Ignatova’s brother was among those detained and prosecuted in connection with the project. The fraud is still one of the most enigmatic and expensive in bitcoin history.