The story of OneCoin and the recent hunt for its creator, Dr Ruja Ignatova, is to be made into a TV show. The Missing Cryptoqueen, a hit podcast made for the BBC last year, has been picked up by New Regency, a London-based production company, who will tell the story of Dr Ruja Ignatova and her disappearance after scamming hundreds of thousands of victims out of more than $4 billion.
Dr Ignatova Chased Around Europe
Dr Ignatova disappeared in 2017 while being sought by the US on fraud charges, and journalists Jamie Bartlett and Georgia Catt spent months trying to track down the elusive OneCoin founder in 2019. Their journey took them through Greece, Bulgaria, and Germany, and saw them attending a bizarre OneLife beauty pageant as part of the investigation, but they were unable to lay their hands on her.
The resultant show was an audio sensation, becoming the BBC’s most downloaded podcast, with a second season in the offing too – the final episode ended with an anonymous source claiming that the pair “almost had her” in Germany, and that Dr Ignatova herself was at the OneLife beauty pageant, albeit in heavy disguise.
OneCoin’s Fall From Semi-Grace
OneCoin was launched in 2014 and marketed as a “financial revolution”, with Dr Ignatova citing Bitcoin’s rise and the potential of blockchain technology as reasons why the project would be a success.
However good the intentions may have been (if they were at all), the sheer popularity of the project and the overwhelming rush of investments was too much for Dr Ignatova and the OneCoin team to handle – the project soon turned into nothing more than a pyramid scheme, with salespeople urged to bring other sellers on board under them in the all too familiar upline/downline system.
30 OneCoin Employees Still Sought by US Authorities
After almost six years of operations the project still has no blockchain and holders have had nowhere to sell the coins since the project’s internal exchange, xcoinx, was shut down in January 2017. Since then the price has been arbitrarily created by officials in the company’s Sofia head office, handily going up all the time, with endless promises of an exchange never forthcoming.
Several figures from the OneCoin scam are either in jail or facing it, such as former lawyer Mark Scott, who is waiting sentencing after being found guilty of money laundering, and Dr Ignatova’s brother and former CEO, Konstantin Ignatov, who has already pled guilty to conspiring to commit wire fraud. Dr Ignatova herself is one of 30 OneCoin employees with outstanding arrest warrants from a California Federal Circuit Court, issued in 2017 before she disappeared.