OneCoin Trial – The Shakespearean drama around a cryptoqueen, betrayal, fraud, money laundering, and greed

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The investigations of the U.S. authorities around the indictment in the Bulgarian Crypto-Scam OneCoin develops into a Shakespeare drama around the cryptoqueen Ruja Ignatova, her inner circle, fraud and money laundering. The stage is the world and it again may develop into a fight between the United States and Russia. Allegedly, OneCoin founder Ruja Ignatova is hiding in Russia. It can already be said that quite a lot of individuals, and organizations were involved in Europe, Russia, North America and offshore destinations. Especially the role of the U.S. law firm Locke Lord with the accused U.S. lawyer Mark S. Scott and his partner Robert Courtneidge will be interesting.

Konstantin Ignatov’s Guilty Plea

The 33-year-old younger brother of OneCoin founder 38-year-old Ruja Ignatova, Konstantin Ignatov, made a deal with the U.S. prosecutors and pleaded guilty (read the Plea Agreement here).

Under the Plea Agreement Ignatov will support the investigation and testify against his sister and other OneCoin people. In return, most of the charges against him will be dropped. In addition, he is given the opportunity to obtain a new identity through the U.S. Witness Protection Program. In fact, Ignatov isn’t supposed to have been a big number at OneCoin, but merely a kind of assistant for his big sister Ruja. Before joining OneCoin, Ignatov, who is tattooed all over his body, is said to have worked in a dog kennel.

Ignatov recently testified in the indictment against U.S. attorney Mark S. Scott, who, according to prosecutors, laundered money for the OneCoin scheme.

Locke Lord, Mark Scott and Robert Courdneidge

Court documents suggest that Scott and Courtneidge have been adivising Ruja Ignatova und OneCoin regarding the scheme’s money movement activities.

The U.S. prosecutors indicted Scott and claim that he has washed $400 million out of the OneCoin scam on behalf of OneCoin founder Ruja Ignatova. Scott, in turn, testified in his trial that his former colleague at Locke Lord, Robert Courtneidge, was also involved in this alleged money laundering activities.

It appears that the OneCoin money laundering by Scott and Courtneidge was mainly carried out via Locke Lord’s office in London. There Ignatova also gave the lawyers cash for laundering.

Robert Courtneidge, Moorwand, and KBHAndelskasse

Courtneidge left Locke Lord early 2018. As FinTelegram reported, Courtneidge became the CEO of UK registered Moorwand Ltd since early 2018, a payment services provider (PSP) which has been involved in dozens of broker scams. For example, Moorwand laundered the money stolen from the broker scams via the Danish KBH Andelskasse.

This KBH Andelskasse collapsed in 2018 and is currently being investigated by the Danish authorities. One of the key persons in the vast Danish money laundering investigations is Robert Courtneidge and the entities Moorwand and UPC Consulting.

It would now be interesting to know whether and to what extent Moorwand and/or KBH Andelskasse were involved in OneCoin, wouldn’t it?

Funds Manager David R. Pike

Another accomplice of Scott, David R. Pike, was also arrested by the U.S. authorities, Inner City Press court reporter Matthew Russel Lee disclosed last week. Pike used to be the Chief Operating Officer of a private equity fund management company which managed a series of private equity funds known as the Fenero Funds. Rather than making legitimate private equity investments, these funds were used to facilitate money laundering for OneCoin, the U.S. authorities claim.

Pike allegedly made materially false, fictitious, and fraudulent statements and representations during a meeting with Special Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, and representatives of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.

Pike is said to have falsely stated that he was not aware that approximately $400 million transferred into purported private equity funds that he helped to manage was derived from an international multi-level marketing scheme known as “OneCoin” or belonged to Ruja Ignatova, the leader of the scheme, when in fact, Pike was aware that the money belonged to Ruja Ignatova and that it was derived from OneCoin.

PIKE falsely stated, in sum and substance, that PIKE was not aware that approximately $400 million transferred into purported private equity funds that PIKE helped to manage was derived from an international multi-level marketing scheme known as “OneCoin” or belonged to Ruja Ignatova…  in fact, PIKE was aware that the money belonged to Ruja Ignatova and that it was derived from the OneCoin multilevel marketing scheme.  (Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001.)

U.S. complaint against David Pike (Source: Inner City Press)

According to the U.S. prosecutors, the Bank of Ireland was used to launder almost $300 million funneled from the Cayman Islands, the British Virgin Islands and onwards to the United Arab Emirates. The U.S. prosecutors believe that Scott and his associate Pike deceived the Bank of Ireland with their Fenero Funds.

Who is Gilbert Armanta who snitched on Ignatova?

In recent days it has become known in the trial that this Gilbert Armanta, evidently a U.S. citizen, was a partner of Mark Scott. In addition, he is said to have been the lover of Ruja Ignatova. At least that’s what her brother says.

This Gilbert Armanta is said to have betrayed Ignatova to the FBI. In return, Ignatova has apparently wiretapped a conversation with Armanta, which can be heard here on SoundCloud.

Allegedly Armanta together with Scott organized the money laundering of OneCoin for Ignatova. The role of Armanta is not yet clear. As with Robert Courtneidge, some information is still missing for a conclusive overall picture.

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