- The Missing Cryptoqueen, the podcast that follows the search for OneCoin empress Dr Ruja Ignatova, is back for a second season
- The first season ended with a strong lead in Frankfurt, Germany
- Various OneCoin associates are facing jail sentences this year for their part in the scam
The Missing Cryptoqueen podcast is back, with BBC journalists Jamie Bartlett and Georgia Catt hot on the track of OneCoin empress Dr Ruja Ignatova once again. The first season of The Missing Cryptoqueen, which garnered huge attention worldwide and is due to be made into a TV show, ended with a strong lead in Frankfurt, Germany, and season two picks up from there.
The story is even crazier than we thought.
— Jamie Bartlett (@JamieJBartlett) July 29, 2020
What a Difference 18 Months Makes
A great deal has happened since season one of The Missing Cryptoqueen came to an end in March 2019. Just a week after the final episode of that season ended, Ruja Ignatova’s brother, Konstantin Ignatov, was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport and has since pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud on behalf of OneCoin.
Ignatov testified against his sister in November last year during the case against OneCoin lawyer Mark Scott, who was eventually found guilty of helping to funnel $400 million in OneCoin funds into offshore banks. Scott will be sentenced in October, a month before Ignatov.
The return of the podcast could be particularly well timed as it coincides with the start of the trial of OneCoin co-founder Mark Greenwood. Greenwood, who was arrested in Thailand in 2018 and extradited to the U.S., faces several charges including wire and securities fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, money laundering, and securities fraud, all of which could see him sent to prison for up to 40 years.
Where in the World Is the Onecoin Empress?
Of course, the main focus of the podcast will be tracking down the cryptoqueen herself, Ruja Ignatova. Season one ended with an anonymous source claiming that “you came very close to her in Frankfurt”, but it seems that she has since flown that particular nest, with the source adding that “she’ll be where nobody expects her to be”.
The 18 months since the initial hunt for Ruja Ignatova have seen the net tightening around her, with her former associates and even her own brother confessing their crimes in that time. However, despite all the pressure and imminent jail sentences for their part in the OneCoin scam, none of her former colleagues and confidants have given up her location, if they know it.
What’s more likely is that the missing cryptoqueen is on the run, regularly moving from place to place with a core group of ‘protectors’ in the hope of outrunning her pursuers, who include several branches of the U.S. law authorities. The question is, can she run forever?