FBI adds ‘CryptoQueen’ to Ten Most Wanted list, offers $100K reward

The FBI has added Ruja Ignatova to its list of the Ten Most Wanted fugitives.
The FBI has added Ruja Ignatova to its list of the Ten Most Wanted fugitives.(Source: FBI)
Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 2:36 PM EDT
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(Gray News) - The FBI is offering a reward of up to $100,000 for information leading to the arrest of a woman known as the “CryptoQueen.”

The bureau added Ruja Ignatova to its list of the Ten Most Wanted fugitives Thursday.

Ignatova is accused of running what the FBI describes as a “massive fraud scheme” involving a Bulgarian-based virtual currency company called OneCoin, which Ignatova co-founded and allegedly used to scam more than $4 billion from cryptocurrency investors worldwide.

“Ignatova allegedly made false statements and representations about OneCoin to draw people to invest in OneCoin packages,” the FBI said in a news release. “According to investigators, Ignatova and her partner also promoted OneCoin through a multi-level marketing strategy that urged OneCoin investors to sell additional packages to friends and family.”

Special Agent Ronald Shimko said Ignatova targeted people “who may not have fully understood the ins and outs of cryptocurrencies but were moved by Ignatova’s impressive resume and the marketing strategies used by OneCoin,” according to the release.

Ignatova was charged Oct. 12, 2017, by the Southern District of New York and a federal warrant was issued for her arrest, but authorities said they believe she may have fled after being tipped off about the investigation.

The FBI said she traveled from Bulgaria to Greece on Oct. 25, 2017, and hasn’t been seen since.

Ignatova is wanted on several charges, including one count each of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, conspiracy to commit securities fraud and securities fraud.

Anyone with information on Ignatova’s whereabouts is asked to call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI or send a tip online at tips.fbi.gov.

The FBI believes there may also be more victims who haven’t been identified. Those victims are also encouraged to call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI.

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