Mark Scott, the lawyer who laundered $400 million for the OneCoin crypto scam, has been sentenced to ten years in prison. He was convicted of two counts related to bank fraud and money laundering in 2019.
The Sentencing after a Long Wait
Scott was sentenced yesterday (Thursday) by Judge Edgardo Ramos of the US District Court for the Southern District of New York, following multiple postponements. The prosecutors sought a harsher sentencing of 17 years, whereas the defense lawyers tried to bring it down to five years.
The lawyer was one of the first high-profile individuals associated with OneCoin, considered one of the largest crypto scams, to face the legal trail. He was a mastermind behind laundering a staggering amount using multiple accounts to funnel them through the Cayman Islands and the British Virgin Islands to the United Arab Emirates. According to the prosecutors, he made $50 million from laundering OneCoin proceeds.
At the time of the trial, Scott said he did not know that OneCoin was fraudulent. He additionally expressed sympathy towards OneCoin victims before his sentencing.
Scott: I have sympathy for OneCoin's victims .Judge Ramos: I sentence you to ten years— Inner City Press (@innercitypress) January 25, 2024
The Largest Crypto Fraud
OneCoin dupped victims around the globe for over $4 billion. Based in Bulgaria, it operated as a multi-level marketing scheme, defrauding victims even in the remotest Pacific islands. According to available records, the scheme generated €4.037 billion in sales revenue between Q4 2014 and Q4 2016, earning €2.735 billion in profits.
Apart from Scott, the US prosecutors took action against a few other top individuals associated with the fraudulent scheme. Last year, OneCoin’s Co-Founder, Karl Greenwood, was sentenced to 20 years in prison following his guilty plea for wire fraud. The former Compliance Head of OneCoin, Irina Dilkinska, pled guilty to the charges of wire fraud and money laundering.
Meanwhile, OneCoin's mastermind, Ruja Igantova, aka 'Cryptoqueen', is still at large. She disappeared from public view in October 2017 after reaching Greece on a commercial flight from Bulgaria. Her name is now on the FBI's top ten "Most Wanted" person list, with a reward of $100,000 for any information leading to her arrest. In addition, she is on the list of Europe's most wanted fugitives.
Ahead of the recent sentencing, Scott’s lawyers appealed for a new trial, claiming that false testimony by citing false testimony provided by a government witness, Konstantin Ignatov (Ignatova's brother). However, the request was denied. He pleaded guilty to his role at OneCoin and is now cooperating with the prosecutors.
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Social Media Scams: Help Shape the Fight with Your 2024 Survey Participation.This article was written by Arnab Shome at www.financemagnates.com.
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