August 10, 2021, | AtoZ Markets – An investigation by the Italian tax police, together with the South Tyrol provincial prosecutor's office, arrested 14 people found to be associated with the OneCoin pyramid for aggravated fraud, according to a local media report.
The investigation established that three brothers from South Tyrol, living abroad, together with the founder of the pyramid, Ruja Ignatova, organized fraudulent fundraising in Italy. They involved ten promoters in these illegal activities.
3,700 South Tyroleans scammed by One coin
According to law enforcement officials, transactions totaling about €11 million ($12.9 million) were carried out through local banks in favor of OneCoin. About €5 million ($5.8 million) of this amount, the promoters raised from 3,700 residents of South Tyrol.
During the investigation, law enforcement officers intercepted the suspects' telephone conversations and conducted numerous searches in the provinces of South Tyrol and Veneto.
The defendants were accused of illegal distribution and promotion of electronic money, financial abuse, and participation in a pyramid scheme. OneCoin's transnationality has become an aggravating circumstance.
The total damage from the activities of the pyramid is at least $4 billion.
Recall that Ruja Ignatova founded the OneCoin financial pyramid in 2014 together with Sebastian Greenwood.
The project was initially positioned as a highly profitable cryptocurrency, in which investors profited not only from the growth of the asset but also from attracting new participants.
In November 2019, the Court of the Southern District of New York found OneCoin lawyer Mark Scott guilty of laundering nearly $400 million.
In March 2020, Konstantin Ignatov, the brother of Ruja Ignatova, was detained at the Los Angeles airport. He subsequently pleaded guilty to several counts. He faced up to 90 years in prison. The US government has secured a postponement of the sentencing of Ignatov, saying that cooperation with him has not yet been completed.
One of the defendants in the class-action lawsuit of investors against the organizers of the pyramid was the financial holding Bank of New York Mellon.
Ruja Ignatova was charged in absentia in the United States, her whereabouts remain unknown.
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