Onecoin Co-founder Pleads Guilty to Financial Crimes

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  • Onecoin co-founder Sebastian Greenwood recently pleaded guilty to his role in perpetrating the scam
  • Greenwood agreed a plea deal where he will accept charges of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud in return for three others being dropped
  • Greenwood was arrested in Thailand in 2018 and extradited to the U.S.

Onecoin co-founder Sebastian Greenwood recently pleaded guilty to operating “one of the largest international fraud schemes ever perpetrated.” Greenwood, in association with the international fugitive Dr Ruja Ignatova, founded Onecoin in 2014 and operated it until its steady demise in the late 2010s. Ignatova famously disappeared in October 2017 and hasn’t been seen since, Greenwood was arrested in Thailand in July 2018 and extradited to the U.S. to face various charges, two of which he has pleaded guilty to.

Greenwood Was at the Heart of Onecoin

Onecoin famously raked in billions of dollars from investors in the project’s early years, which the founders and executive team kept and spent, with Onecoin itself being nothing but a giant criminal enterprise. Greenwood was alleged to have helped fill the Onecoin coffers through “false statements and misrepresentations” with the aim of “soliciting individuals throughout the world” to invest in the crypto scam.

Greenwood fled to Thailand in early 2018, but was arrested in July that year by Thai police and handed over to U.S. prosecutors four months later. Greenwood was initially charged with five counts relating to financial crimes around his Onecoin activities, but it seems he has agreed to a plea deal where two have been dropped, leaving one count of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Together these charges could equate to a maximum of 40 years in prison but he is likely to get far less than that, before being deported back to Sweden, the country of his birth.

The Latest in a Growing List

U.S. Attorney Damian Williams said that Greenwood “operated one of the largest international fraud schemes ever perpetrated”, adding that his lies were “designed with one goal, to get everyday people all over the world to part with their hard-earned money — real money — and to line his own pockets to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars.”

Greenwood will be sentenced in April next year, marking yet another Onecoin associated in the queue for a prison cell – Dr Ignatova’s brother, Konstantin Ignatov, will be sentenced for his part in running the scam in March next year; 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 will soon be extradited to the U.S. for allegedly laundering $105 million for the company.

Of course, this list is missing one key name, and with the recent 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.