The ex-boyfriend of fugitive Ruja Ignatova (also known as Cryptoqueen) was sentenced to five years in prison for laundering $300 million in earnings from investors of the bogus crypto venture, OneCoin.
Gilbert Armenta, who held several important posts in the OneCoin venture, was convicted of actively engaging in a scheme that embezzled investors out of millions of dollars.
He pled guilty in 2018 to conspiring to commit wire fraud, money laundering, and extortion in relation to the OneCoin project.
Armenta aided prosecutors in unraveling the scam for two years while committing additional felonies, compelling authorities to seek a lengthier prison term.
Cryptoqueen And Her Fake Digital Currency
In 2014, Ignatova, a Bulgarian national, launched OneCoin, a $4 billion multilevel marketing fraud based on a fake cryptocurrency.
OneCoin was marketed as a digital currency that would transform the financial industry, and its promoters claimed that it was backed by gold reserves and utilized blockchain technology purported to be better than Bitcoin.
OneCoin’s proponents asserted that the currency had a fixed quantity of 120 billion coins and that it will become one of the world’s most valuable cryptocurrencies.
Ruja Ignatova a.k.a. Cryptoqueen. Image: BBC
In addition, they guaranteed substantial returns to investors who purchased the coins and advertised them through multi-level marketing schemes in which participants earned commissions for recruiting new investors.
Nevertheless, OneCoin was revealed to be a Ponzi scheme that was not supported by blockchain technology or actual cryptocurrency.
Cryptoqueen Boyfriend Aided In Money Laundering
Its founders amassed billions of dollars from investors worldwide. The fraud resulted in the loss of the life savings of numerous investors.
Armenta’s conviction is the most recent move in the lengthy investigation into OneCoin, which has been described as one of the largest and most sophisticated frauds in history.
Armenta was accused of assisting Ignatova in money laundering and evading justice in relation to the fraudulent enterprise. The sentencing is a relief for the millions of investors who were duped by the fraud, many of whom have yet to receive their money back.
Between its launch and 2016, OneCoin defrauded millions of people to the tune of about $4 billion. The company’s founders solicited investors to purchase educational packages for trading digital assets ranging in price from 100 to 118,000 euros.
Crypto total market cap at $1 trillion on the daily chart | Chart: TradingView.com
Cryptoqueen: One Of FBI’s Most Wanted Fugitives
In 2017, Ignatova, branded by the BBC as “the woman who scammed the world,” was last seen in Athens, Greece. Some reports claimed that she may have hidden on a luxury yacht in the Mediterranean Sea with a significant portion of the stolen monies.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) joined the search for the Cryptoqueen by placing her on its list of the “10 Most Wanted Fugitives.” In addition, the agency offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to her location and arrest.
-Featured image from The Independent