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Ruja Ignatova, the “missing Cryptoqueen”, is now FBI’s most wanted

Cryptoqueen: Ruja Ignatova, also known as the “Lost Cryptoqueen”, has been named in the FBI’s 10 Most Wanted List.

The Bulgarian woman, believed to be in her 40s, is wanted for her role in running a cryptocurrency scam known as OneCoin.

Government investigators have accused the fugitive of using the scheme to defraud victims of more than $ 4bn (£ 3.2bn).

He has been missing since 2017 when U.S. officials signed a warrant for his arrest and investigators began arresting him.

In 2014, OneCoin, a self-explanatory cryptocurrency, began giving consumers a commission when they sold the money to more people.

Also Read : Hackers Steal $100 Million by Exploiting Crypto’s Weak Link

But FBI agents claim that OneCoin was useless and was not protected by blockchain technology used by other cryptocurrencies.

According to allegations made by state prosecutors, it was actually a Ponzi scheme disguised as a cryptocurrency.

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“He has planned his system in the right way, using the strange speculation of the early days of cryptocurrency,” said Damian Williams, a senior prosecutor for the Manhattan organization.

The FBI adds refugees to its most wanted list if it believes the general public can help track them down.

An office notice published Thursday offered a $ 100,000 reward for any information leading to the arrest of Ms Ignatova, who was charged with eight counts in 2019, including cable fraud and security fraud.

She is the only woman on the list of 10 most wanted by the FBI.

Jamie Bartlett, whose BBC podcast investigation brought international attention to Ms Ignatova’s case and the financial impact OneCoin had on her victims, said the FBI announcement on Thursday increased the chances of her arrest.

“This is probably the biggest development in this case since Dr Ruja disappeared in October 2017,” he said.

Mr Bartlett, who has been investigating the case for years, said one of the reasons why it was difficult to track down Ruja Ignatova was that he had lost at least $ 500m (£ 411m), and he had helped her hide the law.

“We also believe he has a high quality fake ID and has changed his appearance,” he added, adding that he may not be alive.

Ms Ignatova was last seen boarding a flight from Bulgaria to Greece in 2017 and has been missing ever since.

OneCoin victim Jen McAdam told the BBC in 2019 that she and her friends and family had lost a quarter of a million euros.

Ms McAdam said it all started with a friend’s message about an investment opportunity that could not be missed. Sitting at his computer, Glaswegian clicked on the link and joined the OneCoin webinar.

For the next hour or so he listened intently as people spoke enthusiastically about this exciting new cryptocurrency – how it could transform his fortune.

They were all “very upset, full of beans, full of love,” said Ms McAdam. “You’re very lucky to see this webinar right now. You’re at a high level and it will go like Bitcoin. It will grow tremendously.”

Ms McAdam said it had taken her months to realize it was a scam.

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