- OneCoin co-founder Karl Greenwood has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for his involvement in the $4 billion cryptocurrency scam
- Greenwood was a key figure in the OneCoin fraud scheme, earning substantial profits and playing a major role in its rapid growth as the top MLM distributor.
- The sentencing of Karl Greenwood is part of a series of legal actions against individuals connected to OneCoin
OneCoin co-founder Karl Greenwood has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for his role in perpetuating the scam that saw victims worldwide taken for $4 billion. Greenwood pleaded guilty in December to operating one of the largest international fraud schemes ever perpetrated and was yesterday jailed for his role in it, having pleaded guilty to two of the charges leveled against him following his arrest in 2018. Greenwood’s sentencing is the latest action in the conveyor belt of legal activities regarding OneCoin’s operators, with one important absentee.
Greenwood in on the Action From the Start
Greenwood, who was extradited to the US from Thailand in November 2018 following his arrest there, launched OneCoin with the face of the project, Dr Ruja Ignatova, and her brother Konstantin Ignatov, in 2014. The project promised huge returns and spread like wildlife, especially among vulnerable communities in Africa and Asia, raking in billions of dollars which the founders and executive team kept and spent.
Greenwood, the charges allege, was in on the scam from the very start, helping to fill the OneCoin coffers through “false statements and misrepresentations” with the aim of “soliciting individuals throughout the world” to invest in the scam. Dr Ignatova disappeared in October 2017, with Greenwood making his escape to Thailand some three months later.
The Conveyor Belt Keeps Rolling
While Dr Ignatova has successfully avoided detection, however, Greenwood was less than successful – the charges were signed off on June 18, 2018, which led to him being sought on a US international arrest warrant and an Interpol red notice. Thailand’s Crime Suppression Division alerted the FBI that Greenwood was in the country, leading to the two agencies working together to arrest and extradite him five months later.
In a press release announcing the sentencing yesterday, the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York revealed Greenwood’s role within OneCoin and how he benefited:
As the top MLM distributor of OneCoin, GREENWOOD earned 5% of monthly OneCoin sales from anywhere in the world, which totaled more than $200 million from the fourth quarter of 2014 through the fourth quarter of 2016 alone and exceeded approximately $300 million in total. GREENWOOD’s mastery as a salesman and the use of the MLM structure helped contribute to OneCoin’s rapid growth and incredible success.
Greenwood’s sentencing marks yet another OneCoin associate in the queue for a prison cell – Dr Ignatova’s brother, Konstantin Ignatov, will be sentenced for his part in running the scam in November; the scam’s lawyer, Mark Scott, was found guilty of conspiracy to launder money but is challenging the conviction; while British Onecoin associate Christopher Hamilton is battling extradition to the U.S. for allegedly laundering $105 million for the company.
Of course, this list is missing one key name, and with last year’s revelation that Dr Ignatova very likely had a mole inside the Europol investigation against her, it seems that it may take some time for it to be added.