The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) is seeking to confiscate nearly $400 million from the attorney who helped accused crypto Ponzi scheme OneCoin launder hundreds of millions of dollars.
- The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York asked the U.S. District Court judge responsible for sentencing Mark Scott – convicted last November – to impose a "forfeiture money judgment," in a submission Monday.
- Between 2015 and 2018, Scott created a network of fake investment funds for OneCoin that laundered a total of $392,940,000 – the amount the DoJ is now seeking to reclaim.
- These entities received funds from a series of shell corporations, ostensibly investors, that were actually linked to OneCoin.
- The money was then transferred out as loans that were not repaid or wired to a series of bank accounts, some linked directly to OneCoin founder, Ruja Ignatova – who disappeared in late 2017.
- As payment, Scott transferred $50 million to himself.
- U.S. prosecutors have previously estimated that OneCoin took in more than $4 billion from investors through its cryptocurrency scheme – making it one of the most successful Ponzis ever.
- Scott was found guilty last year on one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering and one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.
- Per Monday's submission, the DoJ wants to freeze Scott's assets until he has forfeited the near $400 million sum he laundered for OneCoin.
- If approved by the court, the U.S. government will be able to confiscate funds and assets, as well as any other property Scott owns, until the amount has been satisfied.
- This would include several seaside villas, sports cars, jewelry, watches and a yacht that he purchased with proceeds from OneCoin.
- He would also face losing control of the bank accounts that he used to launder OneCoin's funds.
- Scott faces a prison term of up to 50 years when he's sentenced on Oct. 9.
Read the DoJ submission below:
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