In search of the queen
The hunt for Ruja Ignatova, the notorious “Cryptoqueen” who ran the multimillion-dollar OneCoin scam, took a dark turn when Bulgarian news outlet Bird reported that she was murdered in 2018. According to the report, documents found in the possession of a murdered Bulgarian police official reveal that Ignatova was killed on the orders of a drug lord aboard his yacht. Her killer, an associate of Ignatova, allegedly dismembered her body and dumped it in the Ionian Sea.
While the police documents cited in the report say that the source claiming that Ignatova was killed was intoxicated at the time, the report raises questions about the truth behind Ignatova’s disappearance. Ignatova vanished after allegedly fleecing investors out of as much as $5 billion in 2017, and she was added to international fugitive lists, including the FBI’s ten most wanted and Europe’s most wanted list.
The report of Ignatova’s death could explain why the $100,000 reward offered by the FBI for information leading to her capture remains unclaimed. Ignatova’s complete disappearance had led investigators to believe she may have changed her appearance. However, the recent report of her death could provide a definitive answer to the question of whether she is alive or dead.
Unverified at best
It should be noted, however, that the report of Ignatova’s death is based on unverified police documents, and Bird has not responded to requests for further comment. Therefore, it is essential to remain cautious about drawing any definitive conclusions about the truth of the report.
If the report is true, it would provide a resolution to one of the most significant financial fraud cases in recent years. OneCoin was a Ponzi scheme that ran from 2014 to 2016, luring hundreds of investors with the promise of becoming the next Bitcoin. But unlike BTC, OneCoin’s blockchain did not exist.
In December 2022, Ignatova’s associate and OneCoin co-founder Karl Sebastian Greenwood pleaded guilty to federal charges of wire fraud and money laundering related to the scam. Ignatova’s former boyfriend, Gilbert Armenta, was also sentenced to five years in prison for his role in the OneCoin scam.
In January 2023, Ignatova was linked to a London property in a filing submitted to the British government. The filing listed Ignatova as a beneficial owner of Abbots House Penthouse Limited, a Guernsey-based company that had purchased a multimillion-dollar penthouse in the London suburb of Kensington. However, while the UK filing lists her name, the BBC reported that the listing came from prosecutors in Germany rather than Ignatova.
If still alive…
If Ignatova is still alive, she faces several charges of wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, securities fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison. However, given the recent report of her alleged murder, the question of her whereabouts may never be answered definitively.
In conclusion, the report of Ruja Ignatova’s murder, based on unverified police documents, raises questions about the truth behind her disappearance. While the report could provide a resolution to one of the most significant financial fraud cases in recent years, it is important to remain cautious about drawing any definitive conclusions until further evidence is available. If Ignatova is still alive, she faces serious charges related to the OneCoin scam, but the question of her whereabouts remains a mystery.