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US Moves to Seize $400M From Convicted OneCoin Money Launderer

The U.S. Department of Justice wants an attorney to hand over the massive sum he helped launder for the OneCoin scheme.

Sep 2, 2020 at 10:12 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 9:51 a.m. UTC

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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