Frank Schneider, an alleged participant in OneCoin's $4 billion Ponzi scheme, is facing charges of wire fraud and money laundering, according to a 2020 indictment unsealed this week in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Launched in Bulgaria in 2014, OneCoin fraudulently branded itself as a cryptocurrency, telling investors that the token could be mined and had real value when in reality it didn't exist on the blockchain. The founder, Ruja Ignatova – known as the "CryptoQueen" – earned a spot on the FBI's Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list this past summer. She remains at large, with a recent investigation suggesting she has friends in high places.
A Luxembourg national whose intelligence firm did work for OneCoin, Schneider was arrested in France in 2021 and has been fighting extradition to the U.S.
Co-accused U.K. national Christopher Hamilton, who faces similar charges to Schneider, in August lost a plea in his home country to avoid extradition to the U.S., while his fellow countryman Robert McDonald managed to avoid extradition on human rights grounds.
Mark Scott, the lawyer behind OneCoin, was found guilty in the U.S. of laundering $400 million for the Ponzi scheme in 2019.
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