US court sentences OneCoin Bulgarian official to four years in prison

United States District Judge Edgardo Ramos has sentenced Bulgarian national Irina Dilkinska to four years in prison for her role in the massive OneCoin fraud scheme, Damian Williams, the US Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced.

OneCoin, which began operations in 2014 and was based in Sofia, Bulgaria, marketed and sold a fraudulent cryptocurrency by the same name through a global multi-level marketing (MLM) network.

As a result of misrepresentations made about OneCoin, victims invested over $4 billion in the fraudulent cryptocurrency, the April 3 statement said.

Dilkinska previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Williams said: “Irina Dilkinska’s involvement in the sprawling OneCoin pyramid scheme was a flagrant breach of conduct.

“Rather than upholding the law and embracing her position as the Head of Legal and Compliance, she facilitated and committed money laundering, aiding in the exploitation of millions of victims.

“As Dilkinska learned today, this office will hold accountable every perpetrator of the OneCoin scheme, no matter where they may hide,” Williams said.

According to the allegations in the Superseding Information and other filings and statements made in court:

In 2014, Ruja Ignatova, also known as “the Cryptoqueen,” and Karl Sebastian Greenwood co-founded OneCoin, a company based in Sofia, that marketed a purported cryptocurrency by the same name, which was in fact a fraudulent pyramid scheme.

OneCoin operated as a MLM network through which members received commissions for recruiting others to purchase cryptocurrency packages.

This MLM structure influenced rapid growth of the OneCoin member network.

According to OneCoin’s promotional materials, over three million people invested in fraudulent cryptocurrency packages.

OneCoin records show that between the fourth quarter of 2014 and the fourth quarter of 2016 alone, OneCoin generated 4.037 billion euro in sales revenue and earned “profits” of 2.735 billion euro.

Dilkinska was the purported Head of Legal and Compliance for OneCoin.

But rather than ensuring that OneCoin complied with the law, she assisted in running its day-to-day operations and laundered money for OneCoin, including arranging for the transfer of $110 million in fraudulently obtained OneCoin proceeds to a Cayman Islands entity.

In addition to the prison term, Dilkinska was sentenced to one month of supervised release and ordered to forfeit $111 440 000.

(Photo: Jason Morrison)

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