Onecoin Co-Founder Pleads Guilty To Fraud Charges
Karl Sebastian Greenwood, co-founder, and operator of Onecoin, has pled guilty to his part in building a notorious crypto pyramid.
By Anna B Kiwanuka
Co-founder of Onecoin, Karl Sebastian Greenwood pled guilty recently in a Manhattan federal court to wire fraud and money laundering charges. As a result of misrepresentations made by him under the Ponzi scheme’s mastermind, Cryptoqueen.
According to sources, Ruja Ignatova, and others, victims from around the world, invested billions of dollars into the fraudulent platform.
In a statement, U.S. Attorney Damian Williams for the Southern District of New York noted that Greenwood, Ignatova, and their accomplices were in charge of Onecoin and asserted that the alleged cryptocurrency bearing the same name would be the “Bitcoin killer.” In reality, it was worthless, was never mined or based on blockchain, and its price was not determined by the market but set manually.
Greenwood, a citizen of Sweden and the United Kingdom, and Bulgarian-born German national Ignatova founded Onecoin in 2014. It operated as a global multi-level-marketing (MLM) network, the members of which were paid commissions for recruiting others. According to Onecoin’s promotional materials and records, over 3 million people invested more than $4 billion by the end of 2016.
According to Reuters, Gnatova, who disappeared from the public eye in late 2017, is still at large and is wanted by Interpol, Europol, and the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), which offers a $100,000 reward for information leading to her arrest. Her brother, Konstantin, was detained in Los Angeles in 2019, pleaded guilty, and sought witness protection.
Christopher Hamilton, a British national charged with money laundering in connection with the Onecoin scam, was turned over to American authorities in August, according to media sources. Hamilton had lost his fight to escape extradition. Three Onecoin associates appeared in court in Germany in October to answer charges of fraud and other offenses.
Greenwood, who was Onecoin’s “global master distributor,” was credited by Ignatova for the idea of marketing and selling the crypto through an MLM structure. District Judge Edgardo Ramos accepted his guilty plea and the sentencing is scheduled for April 5, 2023. The 45-year-old co-founder of Onecoin faces up to 20 years in prison on each of the counts against him.