Information leak also reveals new information from Finns about OneCoin, which scammed millions – U.S. bank money laundering report speeds up the investigation.
Finns have invested at least tens of millions of euros in the virtual currency revealed as a scam.
According to a new information leak, the suspicion of money laundering led U.S. authorities in the wake of one of the biggest scams in world history.
The U.S. authorities’ investigation was being fueled by a bank announcement of virtual currency connected with the founder of OneCoin.
The non-existent virtual currency, OneCoin, has scammed people around the world, possibly over € 15 billion(you switch to another service). At least about 40 million euros have been scammed by Finnish investors. Probably the amount is even more enormous than this.
The information on the money laundering report comes from an extensive data leak, which has been investigated by Yle’s MOT editorial team together with the international journalist organization ICIJ.
Hundreds of millions of bank transfers raised suspicions
In 2016, the U.S. Bank of New York Mellon issued two reports to the authorities about suspicious credit transfers.
The company, owned or affiliated with OneCoin, had transferred nearly $ 360 million, or more than $ 300 million, to the tax haven companies in a short period. In a statement to the authorities, the bank directly linked the money to OneCoin and its Bulgarian founder.
“The transfers include a desk drawer company, International Marketing Services GmBH, which has been merged with OneCoin, which is marketed as a virtual currency, but which is also accused of being a pyramid scam,” the report sent to the authorities.
The bank also considered the transfers to be suspicious due to the use of desk drawer companies. According to the bank’s assessment, attempts were also made to eradicate the money’s origin by transferring funds between different companies.
According to documents submitted to the court in the United States, the transfers were handled by a U.S. lawyer hired by OneCoin’s Bulgarian founder, Ruja Ignatova.
Ignatova, who made a vast fortune with a pyramid scam, had set up fund companies in the Cayman Islands tax haven. Hundreds of millions of euros in money from OneCoin were transferred to these companies.
Founder of OneCoin missing, brother in prison in the United States
OneCoin founder Ruja Ignatova became known for her expensive lifestyle. He hosted big parties featuring world stars like Tom Jones.
Ignatova traveled on a private plane, bought expensive homes in London, among other places, and actively spent the money she got from the OneCoin scam.
However, the transfer of money through the United States proved to be a mistake. The information ended up in the influential U.S. authority, FinCEN, which discloses financial crime information to, among others, the police.
U.S. Federal Police, FBI, and the New York District Prosecutor’s Office launched a criminal investigation into OneCoin. Ruja Ignatova got angry about the study, and she disappeared in 2017. Ignatova’s current whereabouts are unknown, and Yle’s MOT delivery failed to reach her.
OneCoin executives have claimed that the United States’ criminal investigation is due to a conspiracy against OneCoin. OneCoin’s Finnish-language Facebook page has also claimed that the United States is concerned that OneCoin is threatening the dollar’s position as an international universal currency.
In March 2019, police arrested Ruja Ignatova’s brother Konstantin Ignatov, who had risen to lead OneCoin after his sister disappeared at Los Angeles airport.
Ignatov was remanded in custody on suspicion of financial crimes. In the fall of 2019, Konstantin Ignatov admitted OneCoin was a scam.
The United States considers Ruja Ignatova to be the main perpetrator of the OneCoin scam but has not been reached.
Ruja Ignatova’s mother has recently appeared at OneCoin’s events.
OneCoin’s representatives did not respond to the company’s representatives’ questions by the international journalist organization ICIJ.
The scam spread through network marketing
The virtual currency OneCoin, founded by Bulgarian Ruja Ignatova, grew rapidly in the 2010s. At least more than three million people around the world have invested in their non-existent virtual currency. Finland was one of the first countries where OneCoin began to spread rapidly.
Several critics pointed out shortly after the founding of OneCoin that this was not a real virtual currency, but a scam. However, OneCoin spread rapidly through network marketing.
Kari Wahlroos, a Finnish network marketing professional, who made several million euros worth of assets with the help of OneCoin, was also leading sales events. Wahlroos has since left the company.
OneCoin will continue to operate.