The Biggest Cryptocurrency Scandal in History: Ruja Ignatova

Blog / The Biggest Cryptocurrency Scandal in History: Ruja Ignatova

Ruja Ignatova, known as Cryptoqueen has established the largest pyramid scheme in history, saying that she has developed her own cryptocurrency. The world met her as she traveled to lots of cities and attracted investors to her cryptocurrency. Although Ignatova, who disappeared in 2017, was not found, his brother Konstantin Ignatov was arrested in 2019.

Onecoin, invented by Ignatova, appeared in 2014, Bulgaria. Bulgarian Financial Audit Commission published issuing a warning about the risks of the cryptocurrency industry. Lots of people did not listen to them; they joined Ignatova’s pyramid scheme. 

After Ignatova started to rise a bit, she traveled to many countries and cities and began to talk about Onecoin in show centers. The investors he gathered at these seminars were usually from the United Kingdom. In the UK, by June 2016, almost $ 30 million was invested in Onecoin. There have been people from many different parts of the world investing in Onecoin, not just the UK or Bulgaria. The number of people falling into this cryptocurrency scam network from many other points, such as Pakistan, Norway, Uganda, and even Palestine, has increased over time. Although many British newspapers said it was a fraudulent network, investors did not take it seriously. 

Ignatova was constantly manipulating their investors by saying that Onecoin would surpass Bitcoin and that Bitcoin users would be jealous. She was very persuasive and knew how to dispel people's doubts.

Investment From All Over The World

People of many different backgrounds invested their money in Onecoin without hesitation. For example, Daniel, who comes from a farming family in Uganda, invested 700 thousand Ukrainian Shillings in Onecoin, which he had accumulated over years of work. This event in 2017 was not the only one in Uganda because, after the decline in European investments, there were many African investors. It is known that even influential bishops in some African countries have invested their money in Onecoin. 

Just like Daniel, Jane McAdam from Scotland is one of those defrauded by Ignatova. McAdam, who was impressed by Ruja Ignatova's graduation from Oxford and his doctorate, invested a total of 250,000 Euros in Onecoin with his friends. Months later, thanks to a man who contacted him online, he became suspicious of this fake cryptocurrency and questioned the authorities. McAdam realized that the leaders had defrauded him without a convincing answer. 

The Disappearance of Ruja Ignatova

As doubts began to rise from all over the world, investors expressed their concerns, and on this, It was announced that Dr. Ruja would make a statement. The event was in Lisbon, Portugal. Although all the participants were excitedly waiting for him to come, Dr. Ruja did not show up after that day. It is known that before she disappeared, she made a total of $ 4 billion in profits and bought costly properties. 

She had boarded a flight from Sofia to Athens 2 weeks after the event, according to FBI records, and was never seen afterward. 

After the warrant of arrest was issued, many leaders in the Onecoin team were arrested. One of them is Dr. Ruja's brother was Konstantin Iganov.  Konstantin Iganov was arrested in 2019; after that, he pleaded guilty to money laundering and fraud and was sentenced to 90 years in prison.

Dr. Ruja was has never seen again after establishing the largest pyramid scheme in history.

For another Cryptocurrency Scandals in history and learn more about cryptocurrency

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