The search for Ruja Ignatova, popularly known as Cryptoqueen, took a dark turn as a Bulgarian news outlet, Bird, released its investigation report revealing that she was murdered in 2018.
Ignatova masterminded a multimillion-dollar scam dubbed, OneCoin, from 2014 to 2017. During that period, she robbed investors of over $4.9 billion. The cryptoqueen later disappeared and has never emerged again. As a result, she was added to the FBI’s and Europe’s most wanted lists.
A story published by Bird reporters Atanas Tchobanoov and Dimitar Stoyanov shows that a drug lord ordered Ignatova to be killed. An unnamed source on the police report claims that Ignatova’s killer was her associate, but it’s unclear whether they were involved in OneCoin Scam.
According to the Bird reporters, Cryptoqueen’s body was dumped in the Ionian sea after being murdered.
Cryptoqueen Associates Who Have Pleaded Guilty to Charges
The report comes when Cryptoqueen’s ex-boyfriend, Gilbert Armenta, was slapped with a 5-year jail term a few days ago for involvement in the OneCoin scam project.
Armenta is accused of laundering the funds they took from OneCoin investors. According to prosecutors, the jail term would have been shorter because Armenta was helping with the investigation into the scam project, but they discovered he was still involved in crime.
Elsewhere, OneCoin co-founder Karl Sebastian Greenwood pleaded guilty to money laundering and wire fraud charges in connection to the scam last December.
Ignatova’s prolonged disappearance caused investigators to conclude she may have transformed her appearance, but the recent Bird’s report on the Cryptoqueen’s death could explain why the FBI’s $100,000 bounty remains unclaimed.
Last month, a London property filing presented to the British Government suggested that Cryptoqueen had reemerged. The filing listed her as the owner of Abbot House Penthouse Limited, a firm that had acquired an expensive penthouse in London.
However, BBC later reported that the German prosecutors listed Ignatova in the filing, not herself.
Charges Leveled Against Cryptoqueen
If Cryptoqueen is still alive, she faces multiple charges, including securities fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering. She could face up to sixty years in prison if found guilty on all charges.
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