Fraud in the News

‘Cryptoqueen’ associate pleads guilty to money laundering and more

‘Cryptoqueen’ associate pleads guilty to money laundering

In November, Irina Dilkinska, the former head of legal and compliance for cryptocurrency issuer OneCoin, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering for her role in a pyramid scheme that scammed investors out of $4 billion. According to U.S. prosecutors, Dilkinska wasn’t doing much compliance work for OneCoin. Instead, she allegedly laundered money for the crypto company and set up the transfer of $110 million of OneCoin proceeds to a Cayman Islands entity. She’s now facing 10 years in prison.

OneCoin was founded in 2014 in Bulgaria by “Cryptoqueen” Ruja Ignatova and Karl Sebastian Greenwood. In 2017, the U.S. government accused OneCoin executives of operating a multilevel-marketing scheme in which members received commission for recruiting others to purchase crypto packages. Over three million people invested in the packages. Ignatova remains at large and is on the FBI’s most wanted list. Greenwood was sentenced to 20 years in prison in September 2023. (See “OneCoin’s Compliance Head Pleads Guilty in $4 Billion Crypto Fraud Case,” by Mengqi Sun, The Wall Street Journal, Nov. 9, 2023.) 

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