Head of Multibillion-Dollar Crypto Pyramid Scheme Pleads Guilty

Irina Dilkinska, the former Head of Legal and Compliance at OneCoin, has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering charges.

This is a significant milestone in the case against OneCoin, a fraudulent crypto operation that duped investors worldwide, leading to billions of dollars in losses.

OneCoin, starting its operations in 2014 from Sofia, Bulgaria, marketed itself globally through a multi-level-marketing (MLM) network. False promises misled investors, leading to over $4 billion in global investments in the fraudulent scheme.

United States District Judge Edgardo Ramos accepted Dilkinska’s guilty plea. Therefore marking a pivotal moment in pursuing justice for the victims.

“As OneCoin’s so-called ‘Head of Legal and Compliance’ Irina Dilkinska accomplished the exact opposite goal of her position.  As she has now admitted, Dilkinska facilitated the laundering of millions of dollars of illicit profits OneCoin accrued through its multi-level-marketing scheme.  The dedicated prosecutors of this Office and our law enforcement partners will continue to pursue this important case until every defendant is brought to justice,” US Attorney Damian Williams emphasized.

According to court documents and statements, OneCoin was co-founded by Ruja Ignatova, also known as “cryptoqueen,” and Karl Sebastian Greenwood. The company’s MLM structure fueled rapid growth, with over three million people investing in the fraudulent cryptocurrency packages.

In fact, between 2014 and 2016 alone, OneCoin generated over $4 billion in sales revenue and declared “profits” of nearly $3 billion.

Read more: 15 Most Common Crypto Scams To Look Out For

Dilkinska, instead of ensuring legal compliance for OneCoin, played a key role in laundering money. This includes transferring $110 million of fraudulently obtained proceeds to a Cayman Islands entity. Now, Dilkinska faces up to five years in prison for each count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering.

It is worth mentioning that her sentencing is scheduled for February 14, 2024.

Moreover, Ruja Ignatova, who faces related fraud and money laundering charges in the US, vanished after a trip to Greece in 2017.

Cryptoqueen Ruja Ignatova OneCoin
Cryptoqueen Ruja Ignatova in FBI’s Ten Most Wanted. Source: FBI

As Ignatova remains at large, the FBI added her to the Top Ten Most Wanted List in June 2022. Additionally, the authorities are offering a $100,000 reward for information that leads to her arrest.

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