Ruja Ignatova is believed to be responsible for the biggest fraud in cryptocurrency history. She invented and marketed OneCoin, a fake cryptocurrency through which she scammed billions of dollars from unsuspecting investors worldwide. Ignatova fraudulently acquired nearly $20 billion within three years of the scam.
But, OneCoin was not even her first cryptocurrency fraud, as she had already run other scams. So, she has been called the Cryptoqueen. As of the time we wrote this post, Ignatova had been missing for almost five years. Nobody knows whether she’s dead or hiding somewhere or even what she might look like if still alive. She’s one of the most-wanted suspects across two continents, but here’s what you didn’t know about the Cryptoqueen.
Events Leading to OneCoin Scam
According to Bitrates, Ignatova and her father stole more than €1 million from Waltenhofen Steelworks. This was a company they had purchased after it filed for bankruptcy. However, the move was fraudulent, and the law caught up with them four years later.
From here, Ignatova joined BigCoin, a fraudulent cryptocurrency from Hong Kong, as a legal advisor, which later crashed. Ignatova left to form OneCoin in the company of her brother (Konstantin Ignatova) and Karl Sebastian Greenwood (via Bitcoin.com). They launched it in 2014, and with crazy marketing, millions of investors joined the scheme. Ignatova was even awarded entrepreneur of the year in Bulgaria!
Largest Transaction in History
In 2015, Ignatova received the largest Bitcoin transaction ever in cryptocurrency history. The Cryptoqueen was given four USB devices with 230,000 Bitcoins in exchange for $52 million. At their peak price, these Bitcoins would be over $4.4 billion.
However, OneCoin came to its downfall in 2017 following a cease-and-desist order from Germany’s Federal Financial Supervisory Authority. Investors had received many warning signs about OneCoin from various quarters. Ruja Ignatova disappeared mysteriously after she learned that things were not going her way. Ignatova flew to Greece aboard Ryanair in 2017 but soon went missing.
Largest Cryptocurrency Frauds in History
When Ignatova went missing, OneCoin was behind the largest fraud in history. OneCoin scammed many people worldwide (across 175 countries) in three years. This fraudulent currency scheme scammed anywhere from $4.4 billion to nearly $20 billion from unsuspecting investors.
The worst part of this scam is that it’s improbable that investors will ever get their money back. China’s law enforcers prosecuted 98 people and recovered around $267.5 million only, translating to at most 5% of OneCoin’s fraud. It was an incredible level of deception and had many of its victims out of pocket.
She May Have a New Face!
Ruja Ignatova soon went on the list of the most wanted persons in Europe. Ignatova has now been missing for nearly five years. Ignatova ran away with at least $4.4 billion, meaning she could afford to continue hiding.
German investigators noted that Ignatova could have taken drastic measures such as surgically changing her face. They believe that she now may have a new face and even dyed her hair, which would make it hard to identify her. She may also have died, but everything else is speculation until someone discovers her body.