Two promoters of the crypto Ponzi scheme OneCoin were found dead in Mexico last month.
- A report last Friday by La Tercera said the bodies, identified as Oscar Brito Ibarra and Ignacio Ibarra (apparently not related), had been found in suitcases by local police on June 30.
- The suitcases were dumped on a vacant lot in Mazatlan in the region of Sinaloa, a seaside town located about 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) from the country's capital, Mexico City.
- The cause of death was suffocation, according to local police who are treating the case as a double homicide.
- Oscar was a Chilean national while Ignacio came from Argentina.
- Both men, who were known associates, had been kidnapped two days earlier in Villa Carey, another neighborhood in Mazatlan.
- The two had been involved in promoting the crypto investment scheme OneCoin – called a fraud by prosecutors in the U.S. and elsewhere – throughout Latin America.
- They had reportedly convinced numerous individuals to invest in OneCoin through an entity called the Latin American Automotive Marketing Company (CLA), which accepted cryptocurrencies for car purchases.
- At CLA, Oscar and Ignacio promoted car sales to victims by claiming they could get better deals if they used the OneCoin system to make the purchase.
- In June, the pair traveled to Mazatlan to promote CLA, but shortly after arriving the pair were found dead.
- In November of last year, a jury convicted OneCoin's lawyer, Mark Scott, of laundering $400 million for the scheme.
- An alleged leader of the scam, Konstantin Ignatov, has had his sentencing date adjourned for the second time while he continues to cooperate with U.S. prosecutors.
- Ruja Ignatova, OneCoin's founder, is currently on the run from law enforcement.
The leader in news and information on cryptocurrency, digital assets and the future of money, CoinDesk is a media outlet that strives for the highest journalistic standards and abides by a strict set of editorial policies. CoinDesk is an independent operating subsidiary of Digital Currency Group, which invests in cryptocurrencies and blockchain startups. As part of their compensation, certain CoinDesk employees, including editorial employees, may receive exposure to DCG equity in the form of stock appreciation rights, which vest over a multi-year period. CoinDesk journalists are not allowed to purchase stock outright in DCG.