On allegations of wire fraud and money laundering, the co-founder of the fraudulent scheme is scheduled to receive a sentence in April 2023.
The co-founder of the multi-billion dollar fraudulent cryptocurrency scheme OneCoin, Karl Sebastian Greenwood, has admitted guilt to several charges brought by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and now faces up to 60 years in jail.
The Department of Justice reported on December 16 that Greenwood entered a guilty plea to counts of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and conspiracy to launder money, each of which carries a maximum potential sentence of 20 years in prison.
According to U.S. Attorney Damian Williams, Greenwood promoted OneCoin as a “Bitcoin killer” when in fact, the tokens were “totally worthless” and ran “one of the greatest international fraud schemes ever committed.”
Greenwood and the “Cryptoqueen,” Ruja Ignatova, formed OneCoin, a business in Bulgaria that promoted a cryptocurrency by the same name. Before the company was founded in 2014, emails between the two allegedly contained references to it as a “trashy coin.”
Greenwood is performing live on stage at OneCoin’s “COIN RUSH” event in London in June 2016. Photo: YouTube
It presented itself as a multi-level marketing company, with members earning commissions for selling cryptocurrency packages that purportedly included OneCoin and the opportunity to mine additional coins. Only on the exclusive Xcoinx exchange may OneCoin be converted into fiat money.
It was a pyramid and a Ponzi scheme since participants could bring others into the plan without a tangible product. Later, participants were compensated with funds from earlier participants.
As the “global master distributor” of the fake crypto company, Greenwood reportedly made about $21.2 million (€20 million) per month. Three million customers who bought the packages and invested over $4 billion are thought to have been duped by OneCoin.
Due to her involvement in the conspiracy, Ignatova was added to the FBI’s top ten most wanted list in June. She is still at large and was last seen leaving for Athens, Greece, in October 2017.
Williams stated that Greenwood’s plea “sends a strong message” that no matter how large or experienced you are, the DOJ is “going after all those who want to exploit the Bitcoin environment through fraud.”
On April 5, 2023, Greenwood is scheduled to receive his punishment before District Judge Edgardo Ramos.
Three associates are accused of fraud and money laundering in Germany, and other authorities have filed charges against persons connected to OneCoin and Ignatova.