A federal judge sentenced a lawyer convicted of bank fraud and money laundering through the OneCoin digital asset scheme to 10 years in prison following a January 25 hearing.
Judge Edgardo Ramos of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
sentenced lawyer Mark Scott to 10 years behind bars for his role in laundering millions of dollars through OneCoin, according to a report from Inner City Press. Scott was convicted of conspiracy to commit money laundering and conspiracy to commit bank fraud in 2019 and has been awaiting sentencing.
Prosecutors pushed for a minimum sentence of 17 years, while Scott’s legal team recommended only five years in prison. Seemingly, Judge Ramos has split the difference, possibly swayed by Scott reportedly expressing sympathy for OneCoin’s victims before sentencing.
OneCoin, which began operating in 2014, was a fraudulent digital asset sold to millions of investors worldwide through a multi-level marketing scheme, resulting in over $4 billion in losses to investors.
Scott first got involved in OneCoin in 2015, a few months after meeting the fraudulent scheme’s co-founder, ‘Cryptoqueen’ Ruja Ignatova. Together with co-founder Karl Greenwood, they set up fake private equity investment funds in the British Virgin Islands. Over the course of several months, Scott laundered about $400 million in connection with the scam while allegedly pocketing $50 million for his efforts.
Scott now joins Greenwood, who was sentenced to two decades in prison in September. Irina Dilkinska, the company’s chief compliance officer, also faces ten years in prison after pleading guilty to money laundering and fraud charges in November.
Ringleader Ignatova remains at large despite being added to the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Top Ten Most Wanted List in June 2022. One dramatic report claimed that she was killed several years ago and tossed into the sea by a drug lord involved in a fraudulent digital currency scheme.
Scott faces a far less brutal fate, and his lawyers have reportedly indicated their intent to request bail pending an appeal of the sentencing.
Follow CoinGeek’s Crypto Crime Cartel series, which delves into the stream of groups—a from BitMEX to Binance, Bitcoin.com, Blockstream, ShapeShift, Coinbase, Ripple,
Ethereum, FTX and Tether—who have co-opted the digital asset revolution and turned the industry into a minefield for naïve (and even experienced) players in the market.
New to blockchain? Check out CoinGeek’s Blockchain for Beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about blockchain technology.