Lawsuit reveals OneCoin scammer ‘Cryptoqueen’ holds 230,000 BTC worth $13 billion

Rick Steves

In 2015, the ‘cryptoqueen’ was the protagonist of the largest Bitcoin transaction in history. Sheikh Al Qassimi, in a well-documented and witnessed transaction, handed four hard wallets (USB devices) containing 230,000 Bitcoins then worth about $50 million.

A lawsuit filed against the OneCoin organization by victims has revealed that about $500 million is still in Dubai bank accounts and ‘Cryptoqueen’ Ruja Ignatova made off with 230,000 Bitcoins now worth over $13 billion paid to her by a member of an Emirati royal family in 2015.

OneCoin was a Ponzi scheme promoted as a cryptocurrency by Bulgaria-based offshore companies OneCoin Ltd (registered in Dubai) and OneLife Network Ltd (registered in Belize), both founded by Ruja Ignatova in concert with Sebastian Greenwood. US prosecutors have alleged the scheme brought in approximately $4 billion worldwide. Ruja Ignatova disappeared in 2017.

The recently found $500 million in cash and other assets worth as much as $1 billion are being fought over in several court cases by representatives of Ruja Ignatova, her second in command Sebastian Greenwood, an Emirati sheikh, and other One Coin associates.

The Ponzi scheme funneled billions to banks and real estate in Dubai where they were allegedly aided by His Excellency Sheikh Saoud bin Faisal Al Qassimi and a former real estate agent Mimoun Madani.

Al Qassimi is the son of one of the wealthiest men in the UAE, United Arab Bank CEO H.E. Sheikh Faisal Bin Sultan Bin Salem Al Qassimi.

The younger Al Qassimi was an early associate of Ignatova and provided her diplomatic credentials to facilitate her travel to and residence in the UAE.

In 2015, the ‘cryptoqueen’ was also the protagonist of the largest Bitcoin transaction in history. Sheikh Al Qassimi, in a well-documented and witnessed transaction, handed four hard wallets (USB devices) containing 230,000 Bitcoins then worth about $50 million in exchange for the now frozen One Coin bank accounts, other assets, and real estate in the UAE worth perhaps $1 billion.

Those 230,000 bitcoins are now worth approximately $13 billion, which she gets to keep thanks to BTC’s anonymity.

“Regulators seems oblivious to the fact the cryptocurrency’s main purpose is to facilitate and reward criminals like Ruja Ignatova. It is no coincidence that Ignatova is the main beneficiary of the Bitcoin bubble”, said Dr. Jonathan Levy, the plaintiff’s attorney.

“The winners are clearly the bad guys: organized crime, money launderers, and market manipulators while the small-timers are continually defrauded, hacked, and abused. Crypto cannot be insured and if we cannot ban it altogether; a victim superfund is an urgent necessity”, he added.

Dr. Levy advocates for a victim superfund to be established by the EU based on a .0001 per Euro tariff on cryptocurrency transactions.

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