Lawyer Found Guilty of Money Laundering for OneCoin’s Cryptoqueen

A Manhattan federal jury has found lawyer Mark S. Scott guilty of helping OneCoin co-founder and current fugitive Ruja Ignatova launder $400 million.

On Nov. 21, Law360 reported that the Manhattan jury of six women and six men decided to hand down a guilty verdict to Scott, a former partner at law firm Locke Lord who was suspected of being paid $50 million to launder $400 million for Ignatova, also known as the “cryptoqueen.”

Claim of innocence was rejected

The jury did not buy Scott’s claim that he had no knowledge that OneCoin was a scam and that he was only doing his best as Ignatova’s lawyer to represent her interests. They arrived at their guilty verdict in only four hours. 

Cointelegraph reported yesterday that OneCoin is considered to be among the crypto industry’s most infamous exit scams. Scott reportedly used a wide network of fake companies, offshore bank accounts and fraudulent investment schemes to launder the ill-gotten funds.

To date, the Bulgaria-based firm remains operational despite investigators’ allegations that it raised $4.4 billion in a Ponzi scheme.

Cryptoqueen’s brother speaks against her

In March 2019, Ignatova’s brother and co-founder of crypto scam OneCoin, Konstantin Ignatov, was arrested at Los Angeles International Airport. He pleaded guilty to the participation in the multi-billion dollar fraud and money laundering. In November Ignatov signed a plea deal and now faces up to 90 years in prison.

Ignatov, who also testified in the trial against Scott, reportedly provided more details against his sister, saying that she had obtained a passport and tickets to Austria and Greece from her home in Bulgaria. However, to date, the cryptoqueen remains at large.

Ignatov reportedly also told law enforcement agencies that his sister informed him that she had the support and protection of a “rich and powerful” Russian individual.

Source Cointelegraph

George Bush’s Brother Got $300K for Meeting With OneCoin’s ‘Cryptoqueen’

Neil Bush is alleged to have received $300,000 to attend a meeting involving OneCoin co-founder and current fugitive Ruja Ignatova, known as the “Cryptoqueen.”

As Law360 reported on Nov. 15, testimony in a U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York contained allegations against Neil Bush, brother of former President George W. Bush and son of the late President George H.W. Bush.

Sibling entanglements

As Cointelegraph has reported, OneCoin is among the crypto industry’s most infamous alleged exit scams. Founded in 2014, the Bulgaria-based firm remains fully operational to date despite investigators’ allegations that it raised 4 billion euro ($4.4 billion) in a Ponzi scheme.

“Cryptoqueen” Ignatova is the sister of OneCoin co-founder Konstantin Ignatov, who signed a guilty plea in connection with the alleged fraud on Oct. 4 and now faces up to 90 years in jail.

Ignatova has been indicted on charges of money laundering and fraud but remains on the run. 

The Bush connection 

As Law360 reports, former Lock Lorde LLP attorney Mark Scott is currently standing trial for allegedly conspiring with Ignatova and her brother on OneCoin. He maintains that he believed the scheme was legal.

Neil Bush, a businessman, had been interviewed by the FBI due to his role as a board member of Hoifu Energy, which is owned by wealthy Chinese businessman Dr. Hui Chi Ming. 

One of Dr. Ming’s companies is alleged to have pursued a $60 million loan to buy an African oil field and Scott’s counsel has subsequently argued that Bush’s indirect involvement with the deal contributed to Scott’s feeling confident enough to transact with those behind it.

The oil field deal was to be financed in cash and “a very large portion of the purchase price” in OneCoin. Details of the FBI’s interview with Bush were heard at the trial, with Garvin stating:

“Bush recalled that the head of Hoifu Energy, Dr. Hui Chi Ming, received a bunch of cryptocurrency for an oil deal in Madagascar. Bush had a residual interest in the cryptocurrency from the oil deal. Bush met the woman from the cryptocurrency company, Ruja Ignatova, in Hong Kong with Dr. Hui.”

At the trial, Judge Ramos is reported to have asked Scott’s counsel David Garvin:

“So, there was an actual meeting with Ms. Ignatova, Mr. Bush and Mr. Hui?”

Garvin affirmed the meeting, noting that Bush was paid $300,000 for his participation. 

The FBI’s report allegedly noted that Hui had pledged Bush 10% of the sale if Hui was able to sell the cryptocurrency — yet the deal ultimately fell apart.

The judge quashed calls for Bush himself to testify before the court, heeding the argument made by Bush’s counsel that it would not be relevant, given that Bush was not on the board of the specific Hui company involved in the sale. The judge further concurred that Bush’s testimony would not add anything further to what was already included in the FBI’s report. 

Ignatova remains at large

As reported, Ignatov testified on Nov. 6 that after his sister fled, the security personnel who accompanied her told him that she had met with Russian speakers. This has led investigative journalists to subsequently allege that she has the support and protection of an unnamed “rich and powerful” Russian person.

Source Cointelegraph