Investigative Report Reveals Major Banks Moved Trillions for Fraudsters
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists is reporting that major American banks – Bank of New York Mellon, J.P. Morgan, HSBC, Deutsche Bank, and Standard Chartered – are responsible for allowing trillions of dollars to move into the hands of crime bosses, drug cartels and the founders of the cryptocurrency company, OneCoin. More than 2,100 documents listing suspicious transactions occurring from the year 2000 to 2017 reveal all of the details.
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network Reveals the Shocking Details
The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCen) expects the total dollar amounts that were moved into the hands of fraudsters to continue to climb. More and more names are expected to be uncovered as well. But there is one particular individual that cryptocurrency enthusiasts might know rather well. Her name is Ruja Ignatova.
Ruja Ignatova, Founder of OneCoin
FinCen’s profile on Ignatova concludes that in February 2017, more than $137 million in suspicious transactions were made involving OneCoin and a complex network of associated companies. The money changed hands through Bank of New York Mellon.
OneCoin was a project based out of her home country of Bulgaria, but the business licenses for the company were actually registered in Dubai. In March 2019, the United States Justice Department charged Ignatova with money laundering, securities fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. All in all, OneCoin bilked investors out of more than $4 billion and no less than 98 people were arrested after the fact.
Chinese law enforcement officials recovered $267 million of investor funds from the OneCoin scam. While Ignatova is facing charges, she still hasn’t had to face the music. The scammer known as “CryptoQueen” is a fugitive and still on the run. Many of them are also trying to run away from the long arm of the law. Unfortunately for Ignatova, her lead associate Sebastian Greenwood was arrested in 2018 and her brother Konstantin pleaded guilty to similar charges in November 2019. The maximum sentence for his charges is up to 90 years in prison.
Although authorities continue to try making progress in capturing Ms. CryptoQueen and uncovering more and more details about the money flowing through five of America’s biggest banks, crypto investors need to keep one key principle in mind. Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies allow you to be your own bank, and when you send someone your money using the blockchain, there is no getting it back. The blockchain itself is indeed trustless, but that doesn’t mean the founders of projects are always trustworthy. And that’s why it’s important to do your research on the exchange and the team you’re transacting with.
Written by: Jack Choros
Writer, content marketing at Netcoins.