Karl Sebastian Greenwood, the co-founder of the fraudulent “Bitcoin-killer” OneCoin, pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to charges of conspiring to defraud investors and to launder money. Greenwood and his co-founder, “Cryptoqueen” Ruja Ignatova, marketed OneCoin as a cryptocurrency to investors, but it was actually a multi-level marketing (MLM) pyramid scheme in which network members received commissions when they managed to recruit people to buy OneCoin.
The US Attorney Damian Williams reported the charges in a recent statement.
“As a founder and leader of OneCoin, Karl Sebastian Greenwood operated one of the largest international fraud schemes ever perpetrated,” said Williams. Greenwood and his co-conspirators, including fugitive Ruja Ignatova, conned unsuspecting victims out of billions of dollars, claiming that OneCoin would be the ‘Bitcoin killer.’ In fact, OneCoins were entirely worthless.
The firm’s own promotional materials claim more than three million people invested, and Greenwood is said to have earned $21 million per month. Ignatova remains a fugitive on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list and on Europol’s Most Wanted list.