$4B Ponzi Scheme OneCoin and ‘CryptoQueen’ Leader Found in Default in US Lawsuit

Ruga Ignatova and her company failed to respond to the case, according to court documents.

AccessTimeIconMay 18, 2021 at 9:32 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 12:56 p.m. UTC

Ruja Ignatova, the self-appointed “CryptoQueen,” and the firm OneCoin that she founded have been found in default after failing to respond to a case over the alleged $4 billion scam cryptocurrency project.

  • Along with financier Gilbert Armenta, Ignatova and OneCoin were certified as being in default according to documents filed in a U.S. federal court in New York on Monday.
  • The case commenced in May 2019 with Ignatova and OneCoin accused of defrauding millions of investors of more than $4 billion in a Ponzi-like scheme.
  • Investors were told OneCoin could be mined and had actual value, though in fact it did not exist on a blockchain and its perceived value was manipulated by automatic generation of new coins.
  • The documents filed Monday stated the defendants had “not filed an answer or otherwise moved with respect to the complaint." 
  • Earlier in the case, plaintiffs Christine Grablis and Donald Berdeaux were warned by the judge in the Southern District of New York that they risked jeopardizing the case by not filing regular paperwork on efforts to serve court papers to the defendants.
  • According to the latest documents, they had served papers to Ignatova, who is wanted by U.S. and other authorities after disappearing in late 2017.
  • Ignatova’s brother, Konstantin, who allegedly also led the scheme, is assisting U.S. authorities under a plea deal.


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