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OneCoin’s legal chief sentenced 4 years for $4.4b crypto fraud

onecoins-legal-chief-sentenced-4-years-for-4-4b-crypto-fraud
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OneCoin’s legal chief sentenced 4 years for $4.4b crypto fraud

United States District Judge Edgardo Ramos has sentenced Irina Dilkinska, the ex-head of legal and compliance for the notorious OneCoin Ponzi scheme, to four years in prison.

On April 3, the U.S. Attorney’s office announced the sentencing that follows Dilkinska’s admission of her involvement in laundering millions of dollars through the fraudulent cryptocurrency operation.

Dilkinska, aged 42, has also been ordered to serve one month of supervised release following her prison term She must also forfeit $111 million as part of restitution measures.

Her request to avoid incarceration to care for her young children in Bulgaria was declined by Judge Ramos.

Ramos pointed out her intelligence and understanding of the legal ramifications of her actions within the $4.4 billion scheme, stating she is “a woman of great intelligence and a woman who ought to have known better.”

The former executive faced charges of wire fraud and money laundering, each carrying a potential five-year maximum sentence. Her guilty plea last November in a Manhattan federal court positioned her for a possible ten years behind bars.

The sentencing marks Dilkinska as the latest OneCoin executive to be imprisoned.

Karl Sebastian Greenwood, co-founder of the scheme, was sentenced to 20 years in jail in September 2023 for his involvement in fraud and money laundering, as well as a $300 million restitution order.

Founded in 2014 by Ruja Ignatova, popularly known as “Cryptoqueen,” and her associate Greenwood, OneCoin promised investors guaranteed returns via a bogus cryptocurrency called “OneCoin.”

Later investigations proved the lack of a legitimate blockchain, exposing OneCoin as a pyramid scheme relying on new investors to stay afloat.

OneCoin was exposed as a fraud in 2015. Nonetheless, it managed to generate more than $4.3 billion in revenue and nearly $3 billion in profits between 2014 and 2016.

Ignatova has been missing since October 2017, disappearing shortly after a federal warrant was issued for her arrest. It has led to speculation about her fate following the murder of several OneCoin associates in Mexico in 2020.