- Irina Dilkinska, the former head of compliance for OneCoin, has pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering charges in a New York court.
- Dilkinska played a key role in OneCoin’s money laundering scheme, despite her role as the head compliance officer.
- Dilkinska helped OneCoin cover its tracks and avoid law enforcement agencies by creating and maintaining shell companies, payment processors, and bank accounts.
- Dilkinska also helped One-Coin transfer huge amounts of money to and from offshore bank accounts.
- Dilkinska faces up to five years in prison for each charge.
OneCoin was a crypto scam that shook the crypto community between 2014 and 2017.
OneCoin was founded by Ruja Ignatova (also known as the “crypto queen” for her lavish lifestyle) and Karl Sebastian Greenwood, who recruited members to subscribe to “crypto packages” and receive a commission for referrals.
This meant that the more referrals a person made for these products that simply didn’t exist, the more they could earn.
At the end of OneCoin’s run, it had duped investors out of billions of dollars, with most of its founders on the run.
Irina Dilkinska, the former head of compliance for OneCoin, however, has recently pleaded guilty to two federal charges in a New York court.
Dilkinska’s Guilty Plea
According to a recent press release from the Department of Justice (DOJ) this week, Irina Dilkinska has pleaded guilty and has admitted to two counts of conspiracy.
One of them for wire fraud, and the other for money laundering. And according to this press release, she faces up to five years in prison for each.
According to the DoJ, U.S. District Judge Edgardo Ramos has accepted Dilkinska’s guilty plea and has scheduled sentencing for mid-February, 2024.
According to U.S. Attorney Damian Williams, Dilkinska “accomplished the exact opposite” of her position as OneCoin’s compliance chief.
Instead of enforcing compliance, she directly helped Ignatova and Greenwood to launder millions of dollars through One-Coin.
A Key Role in Laundering Money
According to the DoJ, the 42-year-old Dilkinskawas one of the key players in the money laundering scheme at One-Coin, despite her role as the head compliance officer.
One-Coin’s main selling point was that it offered “educational packages” that subscribers could use to access “proprietary crypto”. However, at the end of the day, this “proprietary crypto” did not exist and the packages turned out to be worthless.
Just like any other crypto pyramid scheme, OneCoin had a huge network of recruiters all around the world and used them to lure investors in with promises of massive profit.
According to the DoJ OneCoin was able to amass a whopping $4 billion in revenue from unsuspecting victims between 2014 and its subsequent collapse in 2017.
The roots of the OneCoin are so deep, that some churches were found to have been involved
Dilkinska’s major role was in helping OneCoin cover its tracks, and avoid law enforcement agencies.
OneCoin did this by creating and maintaining several shell companies, payment processors and bank accounts. Dilkinska also helped One-Coin to stay off the radar by transferring huge amounts of money to and from offshore bank accounts.
A good example is a scenario when Dilkinska helped One-Coin transfer $110 million to another company in the Cayman Islands in 2016.
A Global Hunt for the OneCoin Cryptoqueen
Dilkinska is not the only officer who has been arrested and convicted for their involvement in OneCoin.
Earlier this year in late March, Dilkinska and several other co-conspirators were indicted.
One of these co-conspirators was one of the main founders of OneCoin, Karl Sebastian Greenwood.
Greenwood was tracked down to Thailand in 2018, arrested and extradited to the U.S.
Greenwood also pleaded guilty in court to fraud and money laundering charges in the same year, before being sentenced to about 20 years in prison and ordered to pay $300 million in restitution.
The other co-founder, Ruja Ignatova the crypto queen, however, is still on the run.
Ignatova remains one of the most wanted fugitives in the world and disappeared in October 2017 after a federal warrant was issued for her arrest.
Ignatova was last seen boarding a flight to Greece from Sofia, Bulgaria.
If caught, Ignatova faces multiple charges including masterminding OneCoin, wire and securities fraud, money laundering, as well as racketeering.
The DOJ said that the investigation into OneCoin and its associates is ongoing and that anyone with information about Ignatova’s whereabouts should contact the FBI.
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