OneCoin cofounder Sebastian Greenwood has had charges against him unsealed by a New York court in relation to his part in the $7.5 billion crypto scam. Those charges include wire and securities fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering, and securities fraud, all of which could see Greenwood sent to prison for up to 40 years.
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.
Greenwood Caught in Thailand
While Dr Ignatova has successfully avoided detection however, Greenwood was less than successful – the now unsealed 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 (CSD) alerted the FBI that Greenwood was in the country, leading to the two agencies working together to arrest and extradite him five months later.
Among the charges, Greenwood is alleged to have stolen over $100 million from a Hong Kong apartment rented out on behalf of the OneCoin team which was used to hoard investors’ money.
Greenwood is faring a little better than others caught up in the scam’s operations after one group of victims chose to drop their claims against him last month, although this would have been small fry compared to what US authorities might have in store.