OneCoin Compliance Chief Sentenced to 4 Years in Prison for Role in $4B Ponzi Scheme

Bulgarian national Irina Dilkinska, the former head of legal and compliance for OneCoin, was sentenced to 4 years in prison for money laundering and wire fraud.

Dilkinska helped executives launder hundreds of millions in fraud proceeds.

She is the latest OneCoin executive to be brought to justice for her role in the $4 billion crypto Ponzi scheme.

OneCoin’s former head of legal and compliance was sentenced to four years in prison on Wednesday for her role in the infamous $4 billion crypto ponzi scheme.

Instead of ensuring OneCoin was operating within legal and regulatory parameters, prosecutors say Bulgarian national Irina Dilkinska helped with the day-to-day operations of the scheme and, after its collapse in 2016, helped executives launder their ill-gotten gains by working with American lawyer Mark Scott to squirrel away $400 million to the Cayman Islands.

Scott, a former partner at international law firm Locke Lord, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in the scheme earlier this year.

Dilkinska, 42, was extradited to the U.S. in March 2023 and charged with one count each of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. She pleaded guilty to both charges in November 2023. New York District Court Judge Edgardo Ramos also ordered Dilkinska to forfeit $111.4 million.

Dilkinska is the latest OneCoin executive to be put behind bars for her involvement in the scam, which started in Bulgaria in 2014 and shut down in early 2017.

OneCoin’s co-founders, Bulgarian national Ruja Ignatova and joint U.K. and Swedish citizen Karl Greenwood, promoted the fictitious cryptocurrency – which never existed on any blockchain – through a kind of multi-level marketing scheme, paying initial investors to bring in more investors. By the time OneCoin was revealed to be a scam, an estimated 3.5 million people had fallen victim.

Greenwood was sentenced to 20 years in prison in September 2023 and ordered to forfeit $300 million.

So-called “Cryptoqueen” Ignatova remains at large, seven years after vanishing in Athens in 2017. In 2022, Ignatova was added to the FBI’s Most Wanted List, offering a $250,000 bounty for information leading to her arrest.

Whether Ignatova will ever be brought to justice remains unclear. The FBI has suggested she could have altered her appearance with plastic surgery or may be traveling on a German passport in the Middle East or Eastern Europe.

There are also rumors that Ignatova may be dead. In 2023, a report from a Bulgarian media organization suggested that Ignatova was murdered and subsequently dismembered on a yacht in the Ionian Sea in 2018 at the command of a Bulgarian drug lord known as “Taki.”

Jesse Hamilton edited this story.


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